A radioactive capsule has been found in the Australian outback after more than a week of searching along a 870-mile stretch, authorities said Wednesday.
Emergency Services Minister Stephen Dawson said the capsule was being evaluated by the military before being taken to a secure facility in Perth Thursday.
"When you consider the scope of the research area, locating this object was a monumental challenge, the search groups have quite literally found the needle in the haystack," Dawson said.
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The radioactive capsule was apparently part of a gauge used to measure the density of iron ore at a mining facility in the Kimberly region known as Rio Tinto's Gudai-Darri.
The capsule reportedly fell off a truck as the materials were being transported to Perth – a distance roughly the same length as the California coastline.
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The radioactive device, a reported 6 mm in diameter, 8 mm long and containing Caesium-137 which emits radiation equal to 10 X-rays per hour, apparently landed on the side of the road.
Searchers were advised not to come within 16 feet of the tiny capsule if they spotted it over concerns that exposure could cause radiation burns or radiation sickness.
Drivers by were reportedly believed to be at relatively low risk of exposure with authorities explaining it would be similar to undergoing an X-ray.
It is unclear how the tiny capsule was found though it is not believed to have contaminated the area.