The search is underway for a nuclear gauge containing sealed radioactive material after it disappeared from a stolen vehicle in Philadelphia, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
The gauge belonged to KAKS and Company, a construction site and soil testing company in Montgomery County, and was not inside the stolen vehicle when the vehicle was recovered, officials said Friday. DEP.
It is not known when or where the gauge and the vehicle were stolen. A message left with Philadelphia police was not returned.
“It is critical that anyone with information about the lost nuclear gauge contact local authorities or the DEP,” said DEP Radiation Protection Office Director David Allard. “As long as the device is not tampered with or damaged, it poses no danger to public safety.”
DEP officials warned anyone who finds the gauge to stay a considerable distance from the device and to contact the DEP’s Southeast Regional Office at (484) 250-5900.
This is what the gauge and its identification labels look like.
The nuclear density gauge is a Troxler model 3440, serial number 31109. The gauge is yellow in color and the size of a shoebox, with an electronic keypad and a metal rod extending from the top surface.
The Troxler gauge contains approximately 8 millicuries of cesium-137 and 40 millicuries of americium-241. The radioactive material is in a double-encapsulated source capsule inside the device to protect its integrity, the DEP said in a statement.