The nuclear Boy Scout and his homemade nuclear reactor
In 1994 a Boy Scout by the name of David Hahn created one of his most loved fascination: a homemade nuclear reactor. Hahn, 17 at the time, was more than your average tinkerer. He loved the Boy Scouts and everything it had to offer, but found his true love for everything nuclear. When Hahn received his merit badge in Atomic Energy, his curiosity became a new focus for him.
After receiving the merit badge in Atomic Energy, Hahn started pouring over books filled with information about nuclear energy. For Boy Scouts, the Atomic Energy badge offers a lot of hands on with constructing and exploration — even building a model of a nuclear reactor. But none of that was dangerous and would certainly not place anyone in harm’s way.
David, on the other hand, wanted to learn more, and this started the ‘reaction’ that lead him to build his own reactor. He began by tracking down radioactive material found in everyday life from glow-in-the-dark clocks (older models) to everyday smoke detectors. Using his father’s college level physicist and chemistry textbooks, he was able to start his foundation-step that would lead him to his very own nuclear reactor — small-scale of course.
Unfortunately, as you’re about to see, his experiment would later get out of control — along with a $75,000 USD in cleanup of his own backyard by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
Hahn also dropped out of community college to joined the Navy, and you guessed it, to pursue his love. He was assigned to the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise as a designation seaman.
On August 1, 2007, Hahn was arrested in Clinton Township, Michigan for larceny, in relation to a matter involving several smoke detectors, allegedly removed from the halls of his apartment building. In a mug shot, his face is covered with sores which investigators claim are possibly from exposure to radioactive materials.
via multiple sources