david hahn radioactive boyscout

Teen Boy Builds Nuclear Breeder Reactor in Mom’s Backyard Shed

I couldn’t resist posting this. Back in the mid 1990’s, a 17 year old boy by the name of David Hahn attempted to build a fast breeder nuclear reactor in his backyard shed in Commerce Township, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.

The homemade reactor never did achieve critical mass, but it ended up emitting dangerous levels of radioactivity, well over 1,000 times normal background radiation that’s all around us.

I won’t try to tell the whole story here because it’s been told much better than I could at the following links.

Harpers story on David Hahn

David Hahn’s Wikipedia page

Damn Interesting

Even though he had been exposed to what experts estimate to be many times the normal amount of radiation human beings are exposed to in a lifetime, in just a few weeks or months, David Hahn tried to build another reactor in 2007. Here’s a photo of Hahn taken by police at the time. It’s believed the scars and rash on his face are the result of exposure to radiation.

david hahn radioactive boyscout