(8) DEP and Local Police Search for Missing Nuclear Gauge

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and police in Pittsburgh and Mount Lebanon are searching for a missing portable gauge containing sealed sources of radioactive material.

“It is critical for anyone who has information about the lost nuclear gauge to contact the Pennsylvania DEP, State Police or other local law enforcement agency immediately,” DEP Bureau of Radiation Protection Director David Allard said. “As long as the device is not tampered with or damaged, it presents no hazard to public safety.”

The gauge belongs to Solar Testing of Pennsylvania and the company is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the recovery of the gauge. It was last used by the company on Friday, June 27, in the Mount Lebanon area. DEP investigators are inspecting the facility where it is usually stored and interviewing management and employees.

The nuclear density gauge is a Troxler Model 3411B, serial number 5434. The gauge is yellow in color and about the size of a shoe box, with an electronic keypad and a metal rod extending from the top surface. The Troxler gauge contains approximately 9 millicuries of cesium-137 and 44 millicuries of americium-241.

Solar Testing is licensed by DEP to possess and use the gauge.

Anyone who should find the gauge should leave it alone and report its location to DEP during regular business hours at 412-442-4000; or contact the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency off-hours at 717-651-2001. If the gauge appears to be damaged and it appears to be an emergency, dial 911.

A trained individual will be sent to recover the gauge.

For a picture of the Troxler gauge, visit www.dep.state.pa.us and click on the Radiation Protection tab.

For more information, visit www.dep.state.pa.us