A portable nuclear device containing radioactive material that could pose a danger to public safety has disappeared in the US state of Pennsylvania.
Authorities are currently looking for the device, which is owned by local building inspection company KAKS and Company LLC.
The state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said the device, a portable nuclear gauge, is often used at construction sites to “assess the properties of building and bedding materials.” .
However, people could be exposed to radioactive contamination if damaged or mishandled, the agency warned.
He said the nuclear density gauge was stored safely inside a vehicle reported stolen in the city of Philadelphia.
When the vehicle was found, the gauge was missing.
The agency said there is “potential for damage to the radioactive source and spread of contamination” if the device’s sealed sources of radioactive material are severely damaged or hit by a vehicle.
David Allard, director of the Radiation Protection Bureau, said in a statement: “It is essential that anyone with information about the lost nuclear gauge contacts local authorities or the DEP.
“As long as the device is not tampered with or damaged, it poses no danger to public safety.”
Sky News affiliate NBC News has reported that environmental authorities believe the gauge may have been damaged after the vehicle was stolen, so officials are urging anyone who encounters the device not to use it. handle it and contact the authorities to allow a trained person to recover it. .
Exposure to low levels of radiation may not pose an immediate health risk, but may cause a small increase in lifetime cancer risk, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
High levels of radiation exposure over a short period can cause nausea and vomiting.