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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, January 30, 2023

A radiation alert is in force for parts of Western Australia after a tiny capsule containing Caesium-137 was lost.

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I wish I could add something to this discussion besides...oh, this ain't good.

But I cannot.

But really, this ain't good.

From the cited article...

...t is unclear how long the tiny capsule, which contains Caesium-137, a radioactive isotope that emits radiation equal to 10 x-rays per hour, has been missing.

The capsule left the site on January 12, and the contractor hired by Rio Tinto told the company it was missing on January 25. The public was alerted two days later.

Rio Tinto said it was taking the disappearance very seriously.

"We recognise this is clearly very concerning and are sorry for the alarm it has caused in the Western Australian community," Simon Trott, Rio Tinto's iron ore division chief, said in a statement on Monday....

Health officials have warned the capsule could cause radiation burns or sickness if handled.

"The concern is someone will pick it up not knowing what they are dealing with," said Dr Andrew Robertson, chief health officer for Western Australia....


Yeah, this is not a good situation.

#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2023-01-30 01:03 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

We lost a nuclear source at work a few years ago... it was quite the ---------.

#2 | Posted by REDIAL at 2023-01-30 01:05 AM | Reply

@#2

Yeah, I can imagine.

From the cited article...

...It is unclear how long the tiny capsule, which contains Caesium-137, a radioactive isotope that emits radiation equal to 10 x-rays per hour, has been missing....

"We recognise this is clearly very concerning and are sorry for the alarm it has caused in the Western Australian community," Simon Trott, Rio Tinto's iron ore division chief, said in a statement on Monday....


OK, I gotta say, to hear a paragraph, like the second paragraph I quoted above, stated by a major corporation in the industry... well, it is not a soothing comment.

This is not good.


#3 | Posted by LampLighter at 2023-01-30 03:59 AM | Reply

If this ever happens in Red State America, we have a pretty good idea how it would play out: en.wikipedia.org

The Goinia accident [ojjni] was a radioactive contamination accident that occurred on September 13, 1987, in Goinia, Gois, Brazil, after a forgotten radiotherapy source was stolen from an abandoned hospital site in the city. It was subsequently handled by many people, resulting in four deaths. About 112,000 people were examined for radioactive contamination and 249 of them were found to have been contaminated.[1][2][3]

In the consequent cleanup operation, topsoil had to be removed from several sites, and several houses were demolished. All the objects from within those houses, including personal possessions, were seized and incinerated. Time magazine has identified the accident as one of the world's "worst nuclear disasters" and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) called it "one of the world's worst radiological incidents".[4][5]

#4 | Posted by snoofy at 2023-01-30 11:14 AM | Reply

Fallout 2023!

The Australian edition.

It's the end of the world ... all over again, again!

#5 | Posted by donnerboy at 2023-01-30 12:29 PM | Reply

I once had to take a Nuclear Regulatory Commission safety course where they showed us photos of wounds from exposure to similar radiation sources like the missing capsule. One guy put a capsule in his back pocket for storage and got himself a golf-ball sized hole in his butt cheek within a few days. Most people might be surprised to know how much of this type of stuff is out there. Scary stuff.

#6 | Posted by horstngraben at 2023-01-30 12:46 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Most people might be surprised to know how much of this type of stuff is out there.

True that. They are commonly used in industrial instrumentation for measuring fluid densities in pipelines and such. I suspect that is where this thing came from. I would assume it's in a lead lined transport case of some kind.

#7 | Posted by REDIAL at 2023-01-30 12:53 PM | Reply

The capsule left the site on January 12, and the contractor hired by Rio Tinto told the company it was missing on January 25. The public was alerted two days later.

Rio Tinto said it was taking the disappearance very seriously.

No. Taking it seriously would be alerting the public on January 12.

This smells like a coverup was falling apart so might as well come clean.

#8 | Posted by Nixon at 2023-01-30 02:27 PM | Reply

Why does "Repo Man" come to mind?

#9 | Posted by LegallyYourDead at 2023-01-30 03:05 PM | Reply

Oh what a crisis comrades! Now all they have to do is find the A-bombs the USA lost.

#10 | Posted by wolfdog at 2023-01-30 08:49 PM | Reply

Apparently it is not in a shielded case. The gauge it was in broke apart in the truck and the raw source fell out.

#11 | Posted by REDIAL at 2023-01-31 02:43 PM | Reply

How a tiny radioactive capsule was found in Australia's vast outback
www.bbc.com

...By 27 January, search parties were in full force looking for the tiny capsule. But they were not scouting for it using their eyes - they were using portable radiation survey meters.

The survey meters are designed to detect radioactivity within a 20m radius.

"We are not trying to find the small capsule by eyesight. The radiation equipment will hopefully lead us to it," a police spokesperson said the following day.

Police focused their efforts on the GPS route the truck had taken, and on sites close to Perth's metropolitan and high-density areas.

One site along the Great Northern Highway was prioritised by police on 28 January after unusual activity on a Geiger counter - a device used for measuring radioactivity - was reported by a member of public.

But that search did not uncover the capsule.

The next day, additional resources requested from Australia's federal government had been approved and those overseeing the search began planning its next phase.

With the new equipment in Western Australia and ready for use by 30 January, the search ramped up.

An incident controller at the state's emergency services department, Darryl Ray, described the new tools provided by the government only as "specialised radiation detection equipment".

Local media reported that radiation portal monitors and a gamma-ray spectrometer were among the new items being used by search crews.

Radiation portal monitors detect gamma radiation and are typically used at airports to scan individuals to ensure they do not have radioactive substances on them. Gamma spectrometers measure the intensity of the radiation.

Mr Ray said the new detection equipment could be attached to vehicles so searches could be done from moving vehicles at about 50km/h.

"It will take approximately five days to travel the original route, an estimated 1400km, with crews travelling north and south along Great Northern Highway," he said.

But by the end of 31 January, the capsule continued to evade search crews.

"More than 660km has been searched so far - thank you to all agencies for their support," the Department of Fire and Emergency Services said....


The capsule was found.

#12 | Posted by LampLighter at 2023-02-01 10:06 PM | Reply

The capsule was found.

Job well done!

#13 | Posted by REDIAL at 2023-02-01 10:25 PM | Reply

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