Friday, March 24, 2023

Authorities find lost radioactive capsule in Australia

PERTH, Australia ( Associated Press) – Authorities in Western Australia are searching for a small but potentially deadly radioactive capsule that went missing while being transported by truck from a mine to a warehouse in the city of Perth, they said Saturday.

Emergency services said they were hampered by a lack of equipment and appealed for help from the Commonwealth and other countries.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services used handheld radiation detection equipment and metal detectors to search for the 0.31-by-6-millimetre (8-by-6-millimetre) 22-mile (36-kilometre) busy freight highway. Deployed teams with detectors. unit. x 0.24 in).

The unit is believed to have fallen from the back of a truck on the 1,400 km (870 mi) journey from the Rio Tinto mine at Newman to Málaga, a suburb of Perth.

“What we do is try to find a small device by sight,” said Superintendent Daryl Ray. Teams were focusing on populated areas in North Perth and strategic sites along the Great Northern Highway.

“We use radiation detectors to detect gamma rays,” Ray said.

Officials were also analyzing GPS data from the truck to determine the exact route the driver took and where it stopped after leaving the mine around January 10.

It is feared that the solid capsule is stuck in the tire of another vehicle and may be hundreds of kilometers (miles) away from the search area.

It is believed that a screw inside a lead lined caliper came loose and the unit fell through a hole.

Rio Tinto said it had hired a radioactive material handling specialist to package the capsule and transport it “safely” to a warehouse and that it was not reported missing until Wednesday.

Health chief Andrew Robertson on Friday defended the Western Australian government’s decision to wait two days before informing the public, saying they had to search the mine and warehouse to confirm the evacuation and route.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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