ON 870 MILES OF REMOTE AUSTRALIAN ROAD, THERE IS A DANGEROUS 8MM RADIOACTIVE CAPSULE TO BE FOUND
Well, this isn’t something I’m familiar with at all. Did you know that some mining operations use a radioactive substance in their work? I certainly didn’t. And frankly, I’m pretty shocked to learn that it is. But I’m even more shocked that problems haven’t happened before, like the substance going missing, or injuring someone from exposure. Because that is certainly the situation right now in Australia. Or, rather, the missing part is. There is a hunt on to find it before anyone gets injured. But that won’t be easy! The missing radioactive capsule is only 8mm big, and is missing over an 870 mile stretch of remote, Australian road.
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RADIOACTIVE CAPSULE FILLED WITH CAESIUM-137, WHICH EMITS GAMMA RAYS FOR 30 YEARS
The remote road is a long stretch of Western Australia’s Great Northern Highway. The radioactive capsule is Caesium-137, which is very dangerous stuff. Now, there is a real risk of the capsule causing burns or severe illness lying somewhere on the remote road. And it could be the case for decades if not found. It is believed that the capsule literally fell off the back of a truck transporting it. Well, a lorry, to be precise. One of the gauge containers wasn’t completely secured upon inspection on the lorry’s arrival. The fittings had vibrated loose on the trip, and out came the radioactive capsule, somewhere on the long stretch of 870 miles of remote road.
PICKING UP RADIOACTIVE CAPSULE WOULD CAUSE BURNS, SERIOUS ILLNESS, AND MAYBE CANCER
But the search will be like looking for a needle in a field of haystacks. A search team now has the job of searching not only all of that roadway, but all connecting roads and service stations, as well. That is daunting, to say the least. But there are 2.6 million residents in the area along the long stretch of the road who could be at risk. If they simply unknowingly drive by the capsule, it’s like getting a chest x-ray. But if they are a meter from it, it would be like getting 17 chest x-rays in an hour. If they pick it up, the gamma rays could literally cause burns, and a serious illness, including cancer later on.
Let’s hope the team searching for the radioactive capsule with radiation detectors find it soon.
UPDATE: the capsule has been found, 6 days after the search began! It was found two meters from the road just south of the small town of Newman by crews using radiation detection equipment.