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Lost Caesium-137 Found In Western Australia

Lost Caesium-137 Found In Western Australia:

A Caesium-137 capsule lost in transit was discovered in Western Australia using specialised detection equipment that detected radiation.

  • Caesium is a soft, flexible, silvery-white metal.
  • It becomes liquid near room temperature, but easily bonds with chlorides to create a crystalline powder.
  • Caesium-137 is the most common radioactive form of caesium.
  • It is produced by nuclear fission which is also one of the byproducts of nuclear fission processes in nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons testing.
  • This radioactive metal has a half-life of 30.05 years – meaning in three decades it will have half of its original activity.
  • Caesium-137 can cause serious illness when touched, leading to burns and acute radiation sickness.
  • External exposure can increase the risk of cancer because of the presence of high-energy beta-gamma radiation. Prolonged exposure can even cause death.
  • Internal exposure to it through ingestion or inhalation allows the radioactive material to be distributed in the soft tissues, especially muscle tissue, which increases cancer risk.