An upgrade of the Pacific Highway on the mid-north coast of New South Wales has been halted after road workers discovered buried containers of radioactive material.
The materials, which include caesium, were buried north of Port Macquarie after a road accident in 1980.
A truck carrying radioactive isotopes from Sydney’s Lucas Heights nuclear reaction crashed.
The material was being taken to Brisbane on its way to being shipped to the United States.
But instead the damaged containers were buried off the highway.
The Environmental Impact Statement for the highway upgrade had noted some uncertainty about where exactly the containers were buried.
They have now been found, in the path of the roadworks.
Specialists are in the area assessing what to do with the radioactive materials, and if they pose any risk to the upgrade workers or people travelling through the area.