The Department of Environmental Protection and Beaver County police Monday said they are searching for a missing portable gauge containing sealed sources of radioactive material that belongs to Solar Testing of Pennsylvania.
The company is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the recovery of the gauge. It was reported missing on March 13 during a routine inventory check. DEP investigators are inspecting the facility where it is usually stored and interviewing management and employees.
The company says it was last used at a job site on December 16, 2014. The site was on Pulaski Drive in New Brighton, Beaver County.
The nuclear density gauge is a Troxler Model 3411B. 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.
Solar Testing is licensed by DEP to possess and use the gauge.
“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.”
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.