Pennsylvania DEP, State Police Searching for Missing Nuclear Gauge; Advise Public Not to Tamper with Device if Found

Jan 15, 2010, 17:51 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Southwest Regional Office

Company Offering $1,000 Reward for Information Leading to Return

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Jeff Zell Consultants Inc. has informed the Department of Environmental Protection's Bureau of Radiation Protection that a nuclear density gauge is unaccounted for at their site in Coraopolis.

According to DEP, the device poses no safety threat to the public so long as no attempt is made to dismantle the device and the radioactive sources remain contained. Any attempt to tamper with the radioactive sources could subject the handler to potentially harmful levels of radiation exposure.

Authorities with DEP and the Pennsylvania State Police are searching for the gauge that is about the size of a shoe box, with electronic controls and a metal rod extending from the top surface. It is a Humboldt Model 5001 EZ122 with the serial number 5375.  Normally, the gauge is stored in a locked yellow transportation container when not in use at construction sites.

"It is critical for anyone who has information about a potential theft to contact DEP, state police or a local law enforcement agency immediately," Bureau of Radiation Protection Director David Allard said. "As long as the device is not tampered with or damaged, it presents absolutely no hazard to public safety."

DEP investigators are inspecting the facility where it is usually stored and interviewing management and employees.

The company that owns the gauge is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to its immediate return. Anyone who finds the gauge should leave it alone, but report the location to DEP during normal working hours at 717-787-2480 or 412-442-4227. After normal working hours and on weekends, call 1-800-541-2050 or 412-442-4000. In the event of an emergency, dial 911. A trained individual will be dispatched immediately to recover the gauge.

For more information, visit or call 412-442-4000.

Media contact: Katy Gresh, 412-442-4203

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Southwest Regional Office