Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Scary Boy Scout...!

We all know how resourceful the Boy Scouts are supposed to be, right?

Here's a story from the folks over at KnowledgeNuts about one scout that took that talent to a whole other level! You might be glad this man doesn't live next door to you!

The Boy Scout Who Attempted To Make A Nuclear Reactor
By Lincoln Short on Wednesday, December 11, 2013

In the mid-90s, a boy from Michigan attempted to make a nuclear reactor in his backyard shed. He exposed his neighbors to high amounts of radiation and was eventually stopped by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

David Hahn was born in Golf Manor, Michigan, about 40 kilometers (25 mi) from Detroit. David seemed like a normal boy in most respects. He played several sports and was a member of the Boy Scouts. David took an interest in chemistry around age 10 and then started to read his father’s college chemistry textbooks. After an incident in the basement of his father and stepmother’s basement, David was forced to move his operations to his mother’s backyard shed. But he didn’t stop there.

David decided to take his interests to the next level. He started to develop cover stories and even formed a fake identity, claiming to be a high school physics instructor. David wrote to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) using his identity, and was answered by the agency’s director of isotope production and distribution. The director told him about isolating and obtaining radioactive elements, and told him about some isotopes that can sustain a chain reaction when bombarded with neutrons.

Hahn found out that small amount of a radioactive isotope, known as americium-241, was used in smoke detectors. He contacted smoke detector companies and one sold him about 100 broken detectors for $1 apiece.

All of the components that Hahn used for his attempted nuclear reactor came from many common items, including mantles from gas lanterns which contain thorium-232, and a clock that held a vial of radium paint. After blow-torching the mantles into a pile of ash, he isolated the thorium by using the lithium from $1,000 worth of batteries.

After an encounter with the police on August 31, 1994, David was found with a toolbox that he said was radioactive. The police feared that the toolbox, which was bound with a padlock and duct tape, was a nuclear bomb. The Federal Radiological Emergency response plan was put into action and eventually the EPA and NRC were involved.

On June 26, 1995, the EPA moved in on David Hahn’s radioactive shed, and confiscated all of his radioactive equipment and materials. He exposed his neighbors to nearly 1,000 times the normal amount of background radiation.

More recently, in 2007, David Hahn was arrested for stealing smoke detectors from the apartment complex where he lived. His face was covered in sores apparently from radioactive contact.

I'm thinking this guy needs someone to watch over him, if only to protect his neighbors! I sure don't want him living next to me! Actually, I'm surprised that the government hasn't tried to put him on the payroll yet.

14 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

Too much brains and no common sense. It's a frequent malady; I have a couple cousins that way.

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
This kind of guy always seems to hurt others more than themselves.

Gotta give him credit for book learning, even if it has no street smarts to go along!

Thanks for coming by this morning!

Mamahen said...

You would think they would have him under some sort of supervision after the first time... 9° here this a.m...a good day to stay inide with a hot drink and maybe a good book!

linda m said...

That indeed is scary. to think that a neighbor could be building something like that in his yard and expose people to dangerous levels of a chemical makes my skin crawl. He should definitely be under supervision by someone. Just because a person is sort doesn't mean you don't need some common sense. Would you believe it is -7 with a wind chill of -15 here this morning. I want some warmer weather.

Sixbears said...

Build the little Johnny Atom Smasher, be the only kid on your block . . .

Boys will be boys.

. . . dangerous dangerous boys.

Sissy said...

Your last line is a clincher. It made me grin as I sit here shivering. Darn, I hope Spring gets here soon...uh oh, winter hasn't come yet though. Best I pull on another sweater, eh?

Dizzy-Dick said...

I wonder what type of weapon this guy was planning on making from the smoke detectors? Actually, I am not sure if I want to know. Just think what he could come up with if he wanted to help humanity instead of destroy it.

JO said...

So I guess we have a modern Mad Scientist. Yes to bad he doesn't have any common sense to go with that brain.

I think it must be in the low 50's here this morning it has warmed up again.

HermitJim said...

Hey Mamahen...
I certainly agree with the staying inside part, especially if it's only 9 degrees there!

I'd say that supervision is called for!

Thanks for coming over!



Hey Linda...
I guess we never know what the neighbors are up to!

Minus 7? Girl, you need to move south!

Thanks for dropping by today!



Hey Sixbears...
Won't be long before they will be advertising these on Saturday TV.

Gotta watch these kids for signs of some common sense, I guess!

Thanks for coming by today!



Hey Sissy...
Making folks smile or grin is always a good thing!

Sure glad you came by today!



Hey Dizzy...
You probably don't want to know! Me either!

He might be able to come up with some helpful stuff, with the proper guidance!

Thanks for coming over today!



Hey Jo...
Smart folks can sure cause a lot of damage when they are allowed to run amuck!

Thanks, sweetie, for dropping by today!




chinasyndrome said...

Damn Jim,that reminds of a fellow about 16 yrs ago he called in a smoke alarm call. I just figured he wanted a new battery,nope! He was a very black fellow from a Foreign land spoke broken english well enough that I understood he pulled the battery out an seen the radioactive sticker in there and Freaked the heck out! Demanded I remove this radioactive device from his apt. Took a good while to explain it was safe. Um I hope they are safe!?
Yep kid should be monitored or put to work!
China
III

Hermit Ladee said...

I remember watching the news coverage when they arrested that kid back in the 90's! I always wondered what happened to him. Guess some things (and people) never change!

HermitJim said...

Hey China...
At least he was smart enough to recognize what the sign meant!

Good to see ya again, buddy! Thanks for coming over!



Hey Hermit Ladee...
Seems to me this guy is obsessed with radioactive stuff! Definitely not a good sign!

Thanks for coming by today!

deborah harvey said...

AND THEY TELL US IRAN COULD NOT HAVE AN H-BOMB FOR YEARS!

deborah harvey said...

AND THEY TELL US IRAN COULD NOT HAVE AN H-BOMB FOR YEARS!