Device with radioactive material missing in Philadelphia region

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that it is requesting the public’s assistance in the search for a missing portable nuclear gauge containing sealed sources of radioactive material that belongs to KAKS and Company LLC of Harleysville.

The device, a Troxler Model 3440, was locked in a vehicle in Philadelphia which was stolen. When the vehicle was recovered the device was missing. The radioactive material contained within the gauge is believed to be in a safe, shielded position. However, it may have been damaged after the theft of the vehicle. If the gauge is badly damaged or was struck by a vehicle, there is potential for damage to the radioactive source and the spread of contamination.

The device’s serial number is 31109. The gauge is yellow in color and about 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 within the device to protect its integrity.

“It is critical for anyone who has information about the lost nuclear gauge to contact local authorities or DEP,” 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.”

Anyone who finds the gauge should not handle it directly, but rather maintain distance, limit time of proximity, and immediately contact local authorities or the DEP’s Southeast Regional Office at 484-250-5900. A trained individual will recover the gauge.

KAKS and Company is licensed by DEP to possess and use the gauge. This type of nuclear gauge is commonly used to evaluate the properties of building and road-bed materials at construction sites throughout the commonwealth.

Photos: Submitted