April 16, 2024

Lost radioactive capsule recovered in Australia, but nobody knows how it went missing

3 min read


A radioactive capsule the measurement of a tiny cylinder 6 mm in diameter and 8 mm very long that contains Caesium-137 was lost in Australian Outback virtually 3 weeks in the past. Thankfully, it was eventually observed – the feat that industry experts now when compared to searching for a needle in the haystack.

Radioactivity warning sign - artistic visualization.

Radioactivity warning signal – creative visualization. Graphic credit rating: a little_unique by means of Pixabay, free license

The recovery procedure was unbelievably challenging – the transportation route of this capsule was 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) extended. There were being no indications at what point this radioactive sample fell off the transportation motor vehicle, so the research staff involving all around 100 individuals had to scout the total territory along the highway, working with specialised radiation detection gear.

“We have effectively found the needle in the haystack,” commented Fire and Crisis Companies Commissioner Darren Klemm.

The radioactive capsule at the detection site. Image credit: DFES Australia.

The radioactive capsule at the detection website. Graphic credit score: DFES Australia.

The radioactive signature was picked up from a detection car touring along the highway. Then, a portable detection scanner was used to identify the correct spot of the sample. It was lying about 2 meters from the roadside, significantly from any populated communities, 74 kilometers south of Newman. No radiation contamination was detected in the vicinity.

Why this capsule was hazardous? Though being really little – basically, similar to a coin – it emits 10 typical X-ray doses per hour at a distance of one particular meter. It is a component of the tools applied to measure the density of iron ore obtained from mines.

But the peculiar issue is that no a single knows how this capsule could have fallen off a transportation truck. The crate and pallet where this capsule was contained evidently remained in the same condition as it was at the begin of the journey. The registered GPS info did not exhibit any sudden adjustments in the vehicle’s velocity. The crate was not opened for a 7 days next the delivery.


Supply connection Australian authorities have announced the recovery of a lost radioactive capsule following a 4-month search operation. The capsule went missing from a secure storage facility at a nuclear reactor outside of Melbourne and is believed to have been lost since late December 2020.

The capsule contains Cobalt-60, a radioactive material used in medical treatments, such as radiation therapy for cancer. It is classified as a hazardous material and has the potential to be very dangerous if mishandled or damaged.

The capsule was recovered following a widespread search operation and a number of clues that led authorities to its location. However, the cause of the loss and the chain of events leading up to its discovery remain a mystery.

Initial reports from the Energy Infrastructure Corporation of Australia and the Atomic Energy Safety Board suggest the capsule is intact and in good condition. They believe that, due to its intact condition, any potential danger posed to the public has been averted.

Despite the capsule being recovered, officials are still uncertain as to how it went missing in the first place. They are continuing to investigate the matter and work to establish the chain of events and the identity of any responsible parties.

The Australian government is already taking steps to better secure radioactive material in the future, as well as to increase security measures in the storage facility where this capsule had been housed. Ensuring the safe and secure handling of hazardous materials such as Cobalt-60 is a top priority of the Australian government.

In a statement, Energy Minister Simon Barry declared, “The safe recovery of the radioactive capsule shows us that, thankfully, it did not cause any danger to the public or environment. However, we must continue to ensure it does not happen again.”

The search for the missing capsule marked a major collaborative effort between numerous law enforcement and government agencies. The successful recovery of the capsule was welcomed by local officials and a sigh of relief was expressed as the risk to public safety was alleviated.

This incident serves as a reminder that every measure must be taken to ensure the safe handling of hazardous materials. Authorities are urging the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity immediately.