Rio Tinto Loses Radioactive Capsule During Transport In Western Australia
Mining giant Rio Tinto somehow lost a radioactive capsule containing Caesium-137 during transport along a 1,400-kilometer (870-mile) stretch of highway in Western Australia, reported Bloomberg.
"We are taking this incident very seriously ... and recognize this is clearly very concerning and are sorry for the alarm it has caused in the Western Australian community," Rio Tinto head of iron ore Simon Trott said in a statement on Sunday.
Last Friday, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services WA issued a radiation alert for parts of Western Australia.
RADIOACTIVE SUBSTANCE RISK in parts of the Pilbara, Midwest Gascoyne, Goldfields-Midlands and Perth Metropolitan regions.
There is a radioactive substance risk in parts of the Pilbara, Midwest Gascoyne, Goldfields-Midlands and Perth Metropolitan regions.
A capsule containing a radioactive substance has been lost during transportation from north of Newman to the north-eastern suburbs of Perth. The substance is used within gauges in mining operations.
The radioactive material is used in devices to measure the density of iron ore. Here's a map of where the radioactive capsule was lost.
Emergency services said anyone who comes in contact with Caesium-137 could experience "radiation burns or radiation sickness." They also posted a picture of the capsule.
Emergency services said, "the gauge was unpacked for inspection. Upon opening the package, it was found that the gauge was broken apart with one of the four mounting bolts missing and the source itself and all screws on the gauge also missing."
... and just how the Caesium-137 vanished while being transported remains a mystery.