BALTIMORE, MD (September 25, 2000) – The moisture density gauge containing nuclear material that had been reported missing last Wednesday, was recovered in Adamstown, MD. Another contractor, Tony Chmelik of Chesky Construction, Inc, of Ijamsville, MD, found the device in the street shortly after it had apparently fallen from the back of a pickup truck on New Design Road near the Green Hill Manor residential subdivision of Frederick County.
The device was returned to its owners, D. W. Kozera, Inc. of Baltimore, on Thursday. Although apparently undamaged, the device was sent to a local office of the manufacturer, Troxler Electronic Laboratories, for detailed inspection to ensure that no damage was incurred from the fall.
The Troxler model 3430 is a portable device used to measure the moisture and density of soil using radioactive material. The radioactive material contained in the device is Cesium-137 on an extendable rod and Americium-241 encased inside the base. Neither material is a health threat as long as it remains intact within its shielded compartment. The device was shielded when it was lost, and was recovered in its shielded position, so it is believed that no one was exposed to radiation.