Owners offer reward for return of radioactive canister

WAYNE COUNTY — The owners of a missing radioactive oil well logging container are ramping up the search for the container and are now offering a $2,500 cash reward for its return.

(Source: Illinois Emergency Management Agency)
(Source: Illinois Emergency Management Agency)

Wayne County Well Surveys, Inc. of Fairfield reported the canister missing on Friday, Oct. 16. Officials believe the canister could be anywhere between Fairfield and Decatur.

In a report filed with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the company said the device likely went missing sometime in the middle of September.

The steel container is silver in color, 12 inches high and 14 inches in diameter. It weighs about 75 lbs. The container is labeled on two sides as ‘DOT RADIOACTIVE YELLOW II’ with the radiation trefoil symbol, and the manufacturer’s name, ‘Hopewell Designs, Inc.,’ is on its base.

The inner source holder is about 4 inches long and 2 inches wide and is labeled as ‘DANGER RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL, DO NOT HANDLE, NOTIFY CIVIL AUTHORITIES.’

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has categorized sources in five categories, with categories 1 and 2 being the most dangerous and requiring increased controls.

The missing source, which is housed within two robust containers, is an IAEA category 3 source.
If un-shielded and not safely managed or securely protected, exposure to the source could cause permanent injury to a person who handled it or who was otherwise in contact with it.