Radioactive equipment stolen from Golden construction site

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GOLDEN, Colo. — Radioactive equipment was stolen from a temporary construction site at the Colorado School of Mines campus, and the company that discovered the loss is offering a $500 reward for information leading to its safe return.

According to a news release from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, a portable moisture-density gauge containing radioactive material was discovered missing from the site at 7:30 a.m. Monday.

The gauge was stored in a metal Jobox container and was last used at 4 p.m. Friday, according to the release.

The gauge was in its storage case, which is yellow with Department of Transportation-approved radioactive materials labels on it before it was stolen.

Images similar to the missing gauge and case. (Photo: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment)

The gauge contains small amounts of cesium-137 and americium-241. When not in use, the gauge’s plunger-type handle is normally locked with the source in the retracted, shielded position.

“As long as the radioactive sources are in the shielded position, the gauge would not present a hazard to the public,” the release stated. “However, any attempt to tamper with the radioactive sources or handle unshielded sources outside their container could subject the person handling to radiation exposure.”

Anyone seeing or in possession of the gauge should leave it alone and report its location to the Colorado School of Mines police at 303-384-2400, the Ninyo & Moore radiation safety officer at 303-579-2947, or Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 24-hour radioactive materials response line at 303-877-9757.

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