UPDATE: The gauge was found and had minor cosmetic damage but no radiological material was released.
Williamsport, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Pennsylvania State Police are assisting in the search for a missing portable nuclear gauge containing sealed sources of radioactive material that belongs to Pennsylvania-based CMT Laboratories. The company is offering a $1,000 reward for its safe return.
An image of the gauge is included at the end of this press release. Anyone who finds the gauge should not handle it directly, but rather maintain distance, limit time of proximity, and immediately contact Pennsylvania State Police Lamar Barracks at 570-726-6000. A trained individual will recover the gauge.
“It is critical for anyone who has information about the lost nuclear gauge to contact state police 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 was reported missing by the company the evening of Wednesday, October 13, 2021. The gauge’s authorized user completed their work at approximately 6:00 PM and inadvertently departed the job site without properly securing the gauge in its case. The vehicle left the job site, in the proximity of E. Valley Road, Logan Township, Clinton County, and traveled toward Loganton when the loss of the gauge was noticed.
If the gauge is badly damaged or was struck by a vehicle, there is potential for contamination.
CMT Laboratories is licensed by DEP to possess and use the gauge. This type of nuclear gauge is commonly used to evaluate the properties of building materials at construction sites throughout the commonwealth. The radioactive material contained within the gauge is believed to be in a safe, shielded position. However, it may have been damaged in the fall from the transport vehicle.
The nuclear density gauge is a Troxler Model 3440. 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. The radioactive material is double encapsulated within the device to protect its integrity.
Anyone who finds the gauge should not handle it directly, but rather maintain distance, limit time of proximity, and immediately contact Pennsylvania State Police Lamar Barracks at 570-726-6000. A trained individual will recover the gauge.
For more information on DEP’s Bureau of Radiation Protection, visit https://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/RadiationProtection/Pages/default.aspx.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jamar Thrasher, firstname.lastname@example.org, 717-319-1758