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The power of duct tape...

If the kids are really ambitious, and I wouldn't put it past some of the little Madame Curies I know, they can build their own model breeder reactor. In 1994 17-year-old David Hahn did just that in his mom's potting shed near Detroit as an outgrowth of work on a Boy Scout merit badge, using tinfoil, duct tape, uranium powder from ore, radium from old luminous clock dials, americium from smoke detectors, and thorium ash from thousands of mantles--even after the thing was disassembled, local radiation levels were 1,000 times background.
--The Straight Dope: Are camp lanterns radioactive?


( Read 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 7th, 2003 05:21 pm (UTC)
Haha, wow, that's a nice one.
Dec. 7th, 2003 05:22 pm (UTC)
I think it was 1000 time purer then what they use in the reactors, but I guess that makes it 1000 times the background as well.
He decided to dismantle it because it was picking up huge amounts of radation down the block from his house. He got caught because a police officer spotted him in the middle of the night, saw all the tin foil and everything in the back of the car, thought it was a bomb and called the bomb squad.
He now works in a nuclear power plant.
Dec. 7th, 2003 06:41 pm (UTC)
I was in Boy Scouts myself at that time, and I remember they had a big article in their magazine on exactly how he did it.

"Nuclear power in your own backyard... Join BSA!"
( Read 3 comments — Leave a comment )