‘Sorry’: A radioactive capsule missing on an 870-mile stretch of highway has Australian authorities and mining giant Rio Tinto scrambling

Rio Tinto Group lost a “highly radioactive” capsule somewhere along a 1,400-kilometer (870-mile) highway through the desert of Western Australia.

“We are taking this incident very seriously,” Rio Tinto’s head of iron ore Simon Trott said in a statement on Sunday. “We understand that this is obviously concerning and saddened by the alarm this has caused in the Western Australian community.”

The mining giant and the government of Western Australia are trying to find the widget, which is about 8 millimeters (0.3 inches) long and contains small amounts of the radioactive isotope cesium-137. While the risk to the general community is low, exposure to the substance can cause radiation burns or radiation sickness, Emergency WA SAYS on its website.

A widget is a gauge component used to measure the density of iron ore. Rio said that the radioactive capsule was collected from the mine on January 12 by a transportation contractorand was supposed to arrive at a radiation storage facility in Perth on January 16. It was only discovered missing when its container was opened for inspection on January 25.

The Western Australian government said when the package holding the device was examined, it was found to be “broken with one of the four mounting bolts missing and the source itself and all the gauge screws also missing .”

It comes as Rio Tinto, which is listed in Sydney and London, tries to rebuild its reputation in the aftermath destruction a place of sacred significance to Indigenous Australians in 2020 as part of an iron ore mine expansion.

Learn how to navigate and build trust in your business with The Trust Factor, a weekly newsletter that explores what leaders need to succeed. Sign up here.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *