Stolen nuclear material returned

RADIOACTIVE GAUGE: A similar unit to the one stolen.
RADIOACTIVE GAUGE: A similar unit to the one stolen.

A stolen nuclear density meter containing radioactive material has been handed in to police.

Detective Sergeant Mark Keane said a person returned the meter to the Christchurch South police station today.

The equipment was intact and appeared undamaged, he said.

"We are in the process of contacting the owners of the equipment and notifying other agencies, but the unit does not appear to have been tampered with, and at this stage we do not believe there is any safety risk," he said. 

The meter had been in a white Ford Courier ute that was stolen in New Brighton last Tuesday.

The nuclear density meter, a Troxler model 3440, contains two small radioactive sources.

The amount of radioactive material is relatively small and is encapsulated in stainless steel, but authorities were concerned that unauthorised removal of the material may have posed a safety concern.

The stolen ute has not yet been located.

Keane said the unit would be fingerprinted.

Officers have spoken to the person who brought the item in but have yet to establish their involvement in the theft.

The Press