Authorities in Western Australia have sounded the alarm about a radiological hazard. They are looking for a silver tube containing the highly radioactive material cesium-137. The tube is part of a measuring instrument for mining.
The meter was packed for transport to Perth on January 10th. Two weeks later, during inspection, it was discovered that the machine was no longer complete. Presumably, it broke off during transportation and fell through a hole in the container.
At a distance of 1200 kilometers, the tube is searched, which can be compared to the journey from Amsterdam to Toulouse. A drawback to the researchers: The radioactive tube is 8 mm by 6 mm in size.
Ten x-rays an hour
An Australian health organization notes that there are no significant health risks to the population, but warns against getting closer than five meters to a missing tube.
Exposure to it is equivalent to ten X-rays per hour. Then there is the risk of radiation sickness. Anyone who touches the tube could get burns or more serious injury.
Motorists who have driven the 1,200 km route are asked to check their tires on the small tube.
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