DEP Reports Nuclear Gauge Stolen in Philly

If Shielded, Device Poses No Danger to Public

Apr 25, 2008, 01:00 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Officials from the
 Department of Environmental Protection are urging anyone with information
 about a stolen moisture density gauge containing radioactive material to
 contact the Philadelphia Police Department or the Pennsylvania Emergency
 Management Agency.
     DEP's Bureau of Radiation Protection Director David J. Allard cautioned
 that the gauge presents no danger to the public so long as the radioactive
 contents remain shielded.
     "As long as the device is not tampered with or damaged, it presents no
 hazard to the public," said Allard. "However, handling an unshielded
 radioactive source outside of its container for more than a few minutes
 carries a risk of potentially dangerous radiation exposure, as does any
 attempt to tamper with the radioactive source in the device."
     The portable gauge belongs to Applied Testing and Geosciences LLC,
 Bridgeport, Montgomery County. It was stolen from a locked box that was
 chained to a flatbed truck on Dickinson Street in Philadelphia and was
 removed from its yellow transportation container.
     The theft is believed to have occurred between 8:30 p.m., Thursday,
 April 24, and 6:45 a.m. today.
     The Philadelphia Police Department was notified of the incident and
 responded to the area. The investigation is ongoing.
     The gauge is used for industrial purposes, such as measuring the
 density of soil at construction sites.
     The gauge, which is a Troxler model number 3411, is approximately eight
 inches wide, 14 inches long and eight inches high with a rod that may
 extend 16 inches out of the top. It will have a label that says: "Caution
 Radioactive Material."
     The device holds two encapsulated sources of cesium-137 and
     Anyone with information regarding the device is asked to contact their
 local police or the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency at
     CONTACT: Tom Rathbun
     (717) 787-1323
     (717) 979-6410 (cell)

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection