Update: Metro Police said Friday afternoon that Geo Tek, the engineering company that lost the nuclear density gauge, has recovered the instrument, apparently without harm to the public.
So we go out to do a story on the new arts museum downtown, which is in no way connected to this story, and this from the Metropolitan Police Department greets us on our return:
"Authorities are asking the public’s assistance in locating a lost nuclear density gauge that fell off of a pickup truck near Charleston and Lamb Blvd on Tuesday
November 12, 2013. The device is described as an orange plastic box measuring 14 inches by 9 inches with an electronic keypad display and a metal probe. The gauge
weighs 31 pounds and has a handle that extends 22 inches above the base. It is labeled RADIOACTIVE and marked with a radiation symbol. The manufacturer’s name
is Campbell Pacific Nuclear or CPN. "
Got that? "RADIOACTIVE." One of those things you don't want your kids to be playing with.
"A nuclear density gauges contains radioactive sources that are used to measure the density and moisture content of soil and construction materials. When used
properly they pose minimal risk to the operator and do not present a widespread public safety hazard. However, if tampered with or damaged, there is a risk of dangerous
radiation exposure to the person handling the gauge."
We repeat: "There is a risk of dangerous radiation exposure." If you find this thing, do not open it. Do not play with the innards of this thing, especially if those innards have an attractive yellow-green glow in the dark.
A reward is offered for the return of this potentially dangerous hunk of nuclear-powered equipment. Do not use it for batting practice. Anyone with information on the thing, which is not an actual death ray despite some familial resemblence, should call Metro at 828-3111. Right away.