Gauge with radioactive material reported stolen from Fort Meade

December 03, 2010|By Baltimore Sun staff

A gauge containing a small amount of radioactive material was reported stolen this week from a job site at Fort Meade, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment.

The Troxler Model 3430 surface moisture density gauge, serial No. 37672, was last seen Monday at the temporary job site and reported stolen by GeoConcepts Engineering, along with other contracting equipment, about 2 p.m. Thursday, according to environment officials. The theft was also reported to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Fort Meade police were notified.

The device — used to measure moisture and compaction in soils, concrete and other aggregates — is not a public hazard if the radioactive material remains locked in the device. An extendable rod that contains radioactive material was locked in the shielded position, and the device was locked in its case when last seen, according to its user.

The gauge is yellow, and its case is about 30 inches by 14 inches by 17 inches, environment officials said. It contains Cesium-137 on its extendable rod and Americium-241 inside the device. A padlock is normally used to secure the Cesium-137 source when not in use.

Anyone with information on the device is asked to contact the environment department's radiological health program at 866-633-4686, police at 911 or GeoConcepts Engineering at 703-726-8030.

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