MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 30th January, 2023) The Rio Tinto Anglo-Australian mining corporation has apologized after losing a radioactive capsule in the Western Australian desert, The Financial Times reports.
The capsule, which is 8 millimeters (0.3 inch) in length, was lost while getting transported from the Pilbara region to a radiation storage facility in Perth.
"We are taking this incident very seriously," Rio Tinto head of iron ore Simon Trott said in a statement, quoted by The Financial Times on Sunday, adding that the company recognizes that the incident "is clearly very concerning and are sorry for the alarm it has caused in the Western Australian community."
The capsule contains the radioactive isotope caesium-137 (commonly used in radiation gauges), which, upon exposure, could cause radiation burns, acute radiation sickness and cancer, according to experts cited by the newspaper.
A search for the missing capsule is now underway.
According to Australian media reports, the capsule likely fell through a bolt hole in the container that it was being transported in.