Most of me is glad they figured it out and it wasn’t nuclear, but part of me is bummed that this is no longer a part of Australia’s mystique for me.
Responding to my own post from yesterday, Rio Rinto clarified what the radioactive pellet was used for.
‘The radioactive capsule, believed to have fallen from a truck, was part of a gauge used to measure the density of iron ore feed which had been entrusted to a specialist contractor to transport.’
Well, they named the mine. That saves some guess work for some people.
“We have completed radiological surveys of all areas on site where the device had been, and surveyed roads within the mine site as well as the access road leading away from the Gudai-Darri mine site,” he said, adding that Rio was also conducting its own investigation into how the loss occurred.
They had a press release (Internet Archive) saying they just opened it back in June. I’m interested as to whether “autonomous trucks” were involved in this incident (or if that’s a different use of the word truck than in the American dialect of English).
To optimise mine safety and drive productivity, Gudai-Darri features an unprecedented deployment of technology, much of it industry-leading. This includes the use of robotics for the ore sampling laboratory as well as for distribution of parts in the new workshop.
From autonomous trucks, trains and drills, standard across many Rio Tinto mines in the Pilbara, to a full digital replica of the processing plant which allows teams to monitor and respond to data collected from the plant. The same digital asset data is used to provide a feature rich, interactive 3D environment for virtual reality training. These autonomous assets are monitored remotely from Rio Tinto’s Operations Centre 1,500 kilometers away in Perth.
Spraking as a Brit, this is fairly amateur stuff compared to what we did to the Australian Outback in the 1950s:
Eventually the bombs got so powerful that not even Australia was big enough, so we decided to blow up Christmas Island in an attempt to impress the Americans so they would let back in the nuclear club.
How much will this cost Rio Tinto? I am guessing not remotely what the fee should be.
"literally found the needle in the haystack "
“literally found the metaphorical needle in the haystack”
Almost certainly yes. This is meant to be a strong radiation emitter, after all. Nuclear warheads aren’t.
I’m wanting more kangaroo Ice-T
Except when they’re used.
It’s just reported that they’ve found it (maybe?)
Authorities said the missing capsule was detected at 11:13 a.m. local time Wednesday, two meters from the road just south of the small town of Newman by crews using radiation detection equipment.
EDIT: whoops nevermind as @GagHalfrunt indicates this has already been posted above. sorry about that.
Posted upthread nine hours ago by @timd
A serial number enabled them to verify they had found the right capsule, which is 6mm (0.24 inches) in diameter and 8mm long.
lol, can you imagine, “Oh hold on, different number, this must be some other radioactive capsule. HEY Anyone else here missing some cesium?!”
“The US Department of Defense has officially recognized at least 32 “Broken Arrow” incidents from 1950 to 1980.”
Meanwhile cancer deaths near coal slag heaps continue, without a major news story.
This is from a geiger counter, but other radioisotope escapes have happened from medical devices. Shutting down every current nuclear plant would require some other source for everything in nuclear medicine. We (globally) are already having issues getting the source materials because of nuclearphobia.
Edit; not a geiger counter. A sensor, but not a geiger.