Radioactive equipment stolen from construction site in Golden, Colorado

For immediate release: Aug. 26, 2019
Jeannine Natterman, Director of Communications
Denver: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has been notified that a portable moisture-density gauge containing sealed sources of radioactive material has been stolen. Ninyo & Moore of Greenwood Village, Colorado, discovered that the gauge was missing on Aug. 26, 2019 at 7:30 a.m. It had been stored at a temporary work location on the Colorado School of Mines campus. The gauge was stored in a metal Jobox container and was last used on Friday, Aug. 23, 2019 at 4 p.m.
The gauge contains small amounts of cesium-137 and americium-241. The gauge is used to make measurements by projecting the radiation from the two radioactive sources into the ground and then providing a measurement on the top face of the instrument. There is a plunger-type handle protruding from the top of the gauge. The handle is used to extend and then retract a radioactive source from the shielded position. When not in use, the handle is normally locked with the source in the retracted, shielded position. The rectangular base of the gauge is bright yellow.
Portable moisture-density gauges are shipped and stored in a robust, yellow transportation case. This case should have Department of Transportation approved radioactive materials labels on it.
As long as the radioactive sources are in the shielded position, the gauge would not present a hazard to the public. However, any attempt to tamper with the radioactive sources or handle unshielded sources outside their container could subject the person handling to radiation exposure.
The gauge was in its storage case prior to being identified as stolen.
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, option 2; 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.
Ninyo & Moore is offering a reward of $500 for information leading to the safe return of the portable moisture-density gauge.
Images below are similar to the gauge and case that are missing but are not images of the missing gauge.
Image of radioactive gauge


Image of radioactive gauge case