The search for a missing radioactive rod in Texas enters its second week, despite efforts from energy services giant Halliburton, local law enforcement, and the Texas National Guard to find it. The 7-inch stainless steel cylinder contains radioactive Americium-241/Beryllium and was reported missing on September 11th, after a three-man Halliburton survey crew drove from a site near Pecos to a well south of Odessa. The rod — used to identify deposits of oil and natural gas by being lowered into a well — was discovered missing after the team arrived and found the device's container unlocked. This is the only time such a device has been "lost in the public domain" in the past five years, according to a Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesperson.
The FBI concluded "there was no criminal activity involved" in the rod's disappearance
The following day, Halliburton and local law enforcement began their search, and the oil company announced a reward of an undisclosed amount for the rod's recovery. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission also issued instructions to the public to remain at least 25 feet from the device to prevent potential health complications, and directed people to contact law enforcement immediately with any information. Local station NewsWest 9 was assured that the rod's radioactive content would not pose a threat to residents' drinking water.
On Thursday, the Texas National Guard stepped in and began searching the entire road between the two Halliburton sites, and stripped down the transport vehicle. After interviewing the three Halliburton crew members, the FBI concluded "there was no criminal activity involved" in the rod's disappearance. Despite clearing the names of the Halliburton crew, neither the FBI nor the Texas National Guard have offered up any theories as to the rod's whereabouts or how it went missing — as the search enters its second week, it looks increasingly less likely that the device will be recovered.