If Anyone’s Seen This Mildly Radioactive Device, Let the Cops Know. Also, Don’t Touch It.

If Anyone’s Seen This Mildly Radioactive Device, Let the Cops Know. Also, Don’t Touch It.
Screenshot: Lucas Ropek/Troxler Electronic Laboratories/YouTube

Authorities in Pennsylvania are on the lookout for a missing nuclear gauge, the likes of which disappeared from a local worksite and contains radioactive material. Should you somehow stumble upon it, you’re strongly encouraged to notify the police. But also, stay the hell away from it.

Nuclear gauges of this kind are commonly used in civil engineering and construction projects as a means of measuring soil density and water content, as well as for other purposes, so says the USDA’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Coordination Radiation Safety Division. For many of these activities, the device emits a tiny amount of radiation — the likes of which is contained within a sealed internal pocket. If a gauge is broken or damaged, authorities have warned that it can pose health risks.

Comfortingly, these friendly little devices tend to go missing — or are stolen — with some frequency. In this case, the gauge disappeared from CMT Laboratories, a civil engineering firm based in Pennsylvania. The company, which is offering a $US1,000 ($1,349) reward for information leading to its return, said that the item was last seen on Wednesday when the gauge’s “authorised user” accidentally left it at a worksite in Logan Township, Penn. after forgetting to put it back in its case. Now, apparently, nobody can find it.

The item, which is a Troxler Model 3440, is yellow, about the size of a shoebox, and comes equipped with a keypad and a metal rod, authorities said.

“It is critical for anyone who has information about the lost nuclear gauge to contact state police immediately,” said DEP Bureau of Radiation Protection Director David Allard, via Twitter. “As long as the device is not tampered with or damaged, it presents no hazard to public safety.”

I guess it’s a good thing that lost or stolen items are rarely ever tampered with or damaged. All kidding aside, if you somehow spot this thing lying around somewhere, you are strongly encouraged to contact the Pennsylvania State Police Lamar Barracks at 570-726-6000.