PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Officials in Pittsburgh and Mount Lebanon are searching for a missing portable gauge containing sealed sources of radioactive material.

The gauge belongs to Solar Testing of Pennsylvania, and the company is offered a $500 reward for information leading to its recovery. It was last used on Friday in the Mount Lebanon area.

The nuclear density gauge is a Troxler Model 3411B, serial number 5434. It is yellow and about the size of a shoe box, with an electronic keypad and a metal rod extending from the top surface. It contains approximately 9 millicuries of cesium-137 and 44 millicuries of americium-241.

John Poister from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection says the device doesn’t pose a threat as is. However, if it’s damaged or tampered with, that could change.

“The concern that we have is that somebody might get in contact with that, not know what it is, and try to tamper with it in someway. And that would be a mistake,” said Poister.

He says the company used it on a job in Mount Lebanon last week, but when they went to look for it today at the company’s office, all they found was empty case.

Solar Testing is licensed by the DEP to possess and use the gauge.

Anyone who finds the gauge should leave it alone and report its location to the 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, call 911. A trained individual will be sent to recover the gauge.

Last May, a gauge containing radioactive materials was reported missing after falling off a truck along Interstate 81.

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Gauge Containing Radioactive Material Goes Missing (5/14/2013)
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