Australian news, and some related international items

Should never have been lost’: Big questions after miracle radioactive find

The New Daily 2 Feb 23,

Relieved Western Australian authorities are fending off more questions, after the success of their “needle-in-a-haystack” search for a tiny radioactive capsule.

Search crews defied the odds to find a tiny “Tic-Tac-sized” capsule after it – quite literally – fell off a truck in remote Western Australia.

Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson said the discovery was extraordinary considering the scope of the search area.

“Locating this object was a monumental challenge,” he said.

“The search groups have quite literally found the needle in the haystack.”

But questions remain about how the tiny but dangerous object went missing in the first place.

The 8-millimetre by 6-millimetre item fell out of a density gauge while being trucked 1400 kilometres from a Rio Tinto mine in the Pilbara to Perth just over a fortnight ago.

Authorities sprang into action, mobilising specialist crews to look for the tiny capsule. Firefighters were diverted from their usual activities and on Tuesday the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency said it had sent a team with specialised car-mounted and portable detection equipment to join the search.

On Wednesday, WA government officials said the dangerous capsule had been found just south of Newman – about 200 kilometres from the mine site – on the Great Northern Highway………………………………………….

A government investigation has been launched into the incident and a report will be provided to WA Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson.

Rio Tinto has previously apologised and ordered its own review into what went wrong during the haul, which was carried out by a contractor.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

The truck arrived in the Perth suburb of Malaga on January 16. But it wasn’t until nine days later that a technician realised the capsule was missing.

Under WA laws, the maximum fine for failing to safely store or transport radioactive material is just $1000 – a penalty described by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese as “ridiculously low”……………. more


February 4, 2023 - Posted by | - incidents, Western Australia

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: