Australia finds mining giant’s ‘lost’ radioactive capsule -

22 March, Wednesday

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Australia finds mining giant’s ‘lost’ radioactive capsule

'Locating this object was a monumental challenge,' says official in Western Australia

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Australia on Wednesday found a “lost” radioactive capsule, a regional minister confirmed.
“Locating this object was a monumental challenge,” said Emergency Services Minister for Western Australia (WA) Stephen Dawson.
The WA officials said the capsule was found “just south" of Newman on the Great Northern Highway where detectors located it “two meters from the side of the road.”
“It was detected by a vehicle traveling at 70km/h when specialist equipment picked up emitted radiation,” SBS News reported.
“The search groups have quite literally found the needle in the haystack,” said Dawson, the regional minister.
The intense search for the lost capsule continued Wednesday for the sixth day as search crews scoured the 1400km (870 miles) route amid warnings of radiation burns or sickness.
Simon Trott, chief of Rio Tinto’s iron ore division, had early this week offered an apology over the “lost” silver capsule containing Caesium-137. The capsule can emit radiation equal to 10 x-rays per hour.
The capsule was lost during a transit in western Australia triggering a radiation alert across the region, mining giant Rio Tinto had said, adding the issue was being taken “very seriously.”
Founded in 1873, Rio Tinto Group, an Anglo-Australian multinational company, is the world's second-largest metals and mining corporation.
The transit process was carried out by a contractor hired by the company which informed the Rio on Jan. 25 that the incident happened a few weeks ago after it left the company’s Gudai-Darri mine site.
The mining giant has also launched an investigation into “how the loss occurred.”

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