|AGREEMENT STATE REPORT - LOST AND RECOVERED NUCLEAR GAUGE
On July 5, 2019, the licensee discovered that a nuclear gauge was missing from their inventory. The gauge contained a Cs-137 source of approximately 10 mCi and an Am-241 source of approximately 25 mCi. The licensee notified the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Emergency Operations Center.
On July 6, 2019, the gauge was found in a parking lot of a funeral home in Hampton, VA. The Hampton Police were notified. Following their procedures, they notified the FBI. The gauge was undamaged. The Radiation Safety Officer for the licensee is en route to retrieve the gauge.
The Virginia Department of Health will supply additional details when they become known.
* * * UPDATE ON 7/8/2019 AT 1156 EDT FROM MICHAEL FULLER TO JEFFREY WHITED * * *
The following information was received via e-mail:
"On Friday, July 5, 2019 at approximately 1600 EDT, the Virginia Office of Radiological Health (VORH) Duty Officer was notified by the Virginia Emergency Operations Center Duty Officer that a Virginia licensee, ECS-Mid Atlantic, located in Richmond, VA (Virginia radioactive materials license # 760-114-4) had reported a missing portable nuclear gauge. The gauge particulars are as follows:
Serial Number: MD60303074
Source: Cs-137 containing 370 MBq (10 mCi); serial number: 2149GQ
Source: Am-241 containing 1.85 GBQ (50 mCi); serial number: 5396NK
"On Saturday, July 6, 2019 at approximately 1030 EDT, the VORH Duty Officer was informed that the missing gauge had been found in the parking lot of a funeral home in Hampton, VA and that local law enforcement, fire department, and Hazmat personnel were on the scene. Also, in accordance with their procedures, the local police department informed the FBI. The local Hazmat officer performed a visual and radiological survey of the transportation package (labeled Radioactive - Yellow II) and observed that everything appeared to be intact and the radiation readings indicted that the source was in the shielded position (approximately 1.6 mR/hr on contact with the transportation package). Once this information was obtained, the Hazmat officer advised the FBI of the situation (through local law enforcement) and the FBI terminated their involvement. The licensee's identity was determined from the visual inspection and was contacted immediately. The licensee's [Radiation Safety Officer] RSO immediately traveled to the scene, and at 1219 EDT informed the VORH Duty Officer that he (the RSO) had possession of the gauge and was en route back to Richmond, VA.
"The licensee is conducting an investigation into the incident and believes that an employee failed to check out the gauge properly and return it to the storage location in Richmond on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 as required by company procedure, and thought that they could return it after the holiday without being detected. When the gauge was observed to be missing on Friday, July 5, 2019 by the Assistant RSO, she texted all technicians and asked who might have failed to return it. The RSO believes that the technician that failed to properly check out the gauge and check it back in panicked and abandoned it at the funeral home on Friday or Saturday. Once the investigation is completed, the licensee will provide the Virginia Office of Radiological Health with their findings. Future updates, based upon that investigation will be made."
Notified R1DO (Dimitriadis) and NMSS Events Notification and ILTAB via e-mail.
THIS MATERIAL EVENT CONTAINS A "LESS THAN CAT 3" LEVEL OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL
Sources that are "Less than IAEA Category 3 sources," are either sources that are very unlikely to cause permanent injury to individuals or contain a very small amount of radioactive material that would not cause any permanent injury. Some of these sources, such as moisture density gauges or thickness gauges that are Category 4, the amount of unshielded radioactive material, if not safely managed or securely protected, could possibly - although it is unlikely - temporarily injure someone who handled it or were otherwise in contact with it, or who were close to it for a period of many weeks. For additional information go to http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1227_web.pdf.