Human Interest Missing Radioactive Capsule Found Near Remote Australian Highway: 'Needle in a Haystack' The capsule — only 8 millimeters high by 6 millimeters round – was located about 6 feet from Australia's Great Northern Highway after a week of urgent searching By Tracey Harrington McCoy Tracey Harrington McCoy Instagram Twitter Tracey Harrington McCoy is a celebrity news writer at PEOPLE Digital. People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 1, 2023 10:53 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Australian authorities are celebrating the retrieval of a tiny radioactive capsule after an urgent seven-day search. "We have essentially found the needle in the haystack," Western Australia's Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner (DFES) Darren Klemm said in a statement Wednesday about the search, which covered almost 900 miles of remote roadway. "When you consider the challenge of finding an object smaller than a 10-cent coin along a 1400-kilometer stretch of Great Northern Highway, it is a tremendous result," he said before thanking all the agencies involved in the large-scale operation. "This was a great example of working together to achieve an outstanding result," Klemm added. HANDOUT/Department of Fire and Emergency/AFP via Getty Urgent Search Continues in Australia as Tiny Radioactive Capsule Remains Missing Western Australia's Chief Health Officer Dr. Andrew Robertson said the chances of anyone being contaminated by the radioactive capsule were also very small. "To be at risk of radiation exposure you need to be close to the source for a period of time," Robertson said. "If you were one meter away from the source for one hour, that would be the equivalent of receiving the radiation dose of 10 X-rays," he added in a statement. According to the DFES, the capsule was packaged on Jan. 10 to be transported to the city of Perth for repair. The package holding the capsule arrived in Perth on Jan. 16 and was stored in the licensed service provider's secure radiation store. HANDOUT/Department of Fire and Emergency/AFP via Getty Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. On Jan. 25, the gauge was unpacked for inspection but when it was opened, it was discovered that the gauge inside was "broken apart with one of the four mounting bolts missing and the source itself and all screws on the gauge also missing." The DFES issued an urgent warning Friday evening for parts of the Pilbara, Midwest Gascoyne, Goldfields-Midlands and Perth Metropolitan regions along the Great Northern Highway because of the missing capsule. The object is only 6 millimeters (or less than a quarter inch) in diameter and 8 millimeters (less than a third of an inch) tall — about the same size as an Australian 10-cent piece, according to DFES. HANDOUT/Department of Fire and Emergency/AFP via Getty Urgent Warning Issued in Australia After Tiny Radioactive Capsule Is Lost on Vast Stretch of Highway Simon Trott, the chief executive of mining company Rio Tinto Iron Ore who was transporting the capsule, previously apologized for the incident. "We are incredibly grateful for the hard work of everyone involved in finding the missing capsule," he added in a statement Wednesday. "While the recovery of the capsule is a great testament to the skill and tenacity of the search team," he continued, "the fact is it should never have been lost in the first place. I'd like to apologize to the wider community of Western Australia for the concern it has generated. We are taking this incident very seriously and are undertaking a full and thorough investigation into how it happened." Police said the incident appeared to be accidental and no criminal charges are likely to be filed, per the Associated Press.