Rio Tinto apologises for losing radioactive capsule in Australia

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Mining giant Rio Tinto has apologised for losing a tiny radioactive capsule that went missing as it was being transported across Western Australia.

An emergency hunt for the device, which is about the size of a pea, is underway along the 1,400km (870 miles) route.

The capsule contains a small quantity of radioactive Caesium-137, which could cause serious illness to anyone who comes into contact with it.

That could include skin damage, burns or radiation sickness.

Emergency services are searching along for the device using radiation detectors and other specialised equipment.

But Australia’s Department for Fire and Emergency Services said the silver capsule – which is just 6mm (0.24 inches) in diameter and 8mm long – was so small it might have become lodged in the tyre of a vehicle passing along the road.




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