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This 17 Y.O. Boy Scout Built A Nuclear Reactor In His Mom’s Backyard 20 Years Ago That Made The Neighborhood Radioactive
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History, Weird3 years ago

This 17 Y.O. Boy Scout Built A Nuclear Reactor In His Mom’s Backyard 20 Years Ago That Made The Neighborhood Radioactive

If you think that boy scouts only occupy themselves by tying knots, carving wooden figurines and collecting various achievement patches to add on to their vests, then this true story of a boy scout turned into nuclear scientist will blow you away.

The story of David Charles Hahn (1976-2016) is not an ordinary one. The boy, since his early years, was always fascinated with chemistry and science and conducted numerous chemistry projects just for fun. However, no one really expected that one day he would actually build a fully functioning nuclear reactor in his own backyard as a result of one of his science projects.

Back in 1994, in a shed next to his mother’s house, the then 17-year-old David Hahn made a nuclear reactor from batteries, old clocks, lanterns, uranium from Czechoslovakia and duct tape. The science experiment attracted media attention and David was named the ‘Radioactive boy scout.’ Scroll down to read the full incredible story of David Hahn, which was shared by one internet user.

More info: Ajaxmajor

David Hahn was a boy scout from a small town who was always fascinated with science and chemistry

Image credits: Weird History

David’s passion grew even further when he acquired ‘The Golden Book Of Chemistry Experiments,’ as a gift from his grandfather

Image credits: Amazon

David converted his mother’s basement into a lab where he could conduct chemical experiments

Image credits: Weird History

This 17 Y.O. Boy Scout Built A Nuclear Reactor In His Mom’s Backyard 20 Years Ago That Made The Neighborhood Radioactive

During one accident, the family home was set on fire and Hahn’s mother decided that he should move his ‘lab’ into the shed in the backyard

Image credits: Sam Beebe

As a boy scout, David earned an Atomic Energy Merit Badge, which gave him the idea to build his own nuclear reactor

He got in touch with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and started corresponding with them, pretending to be a physics teacher

Image credits: Drew Olanoff

This 17 Y.O. Boy Scout Built A Nuclear Reactor In His Mom’s Backyard 20 Years Ago That Made The Neighborhood Radioactive

After the project was finished, the radiation levels in the area had risen dramatically, so David decided to dismantle the reactor

Image credits: Andrew Back

This 17 Y.O. Boy Scout Built A Nuclear Reactor In His Mom’s Backyard 20 Years Ago That Made The Neighborhood Radioactive

While trying to get rid of it, David was stopped by the police and arrested. The authorities had cleared the shed off all nuclear materials

Image credits: Weird History

David never agreed to do any tests to determine any possible damage done by his experiments, due to fear of what he might find

Sadly, Hahn passed away in 2016 aged just 39, due to alcohol poisoning

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Night Owl
Community Member
3 years ago

A really smart kid, maybe too smart. The parens seem a bit neglectful, even for that time.

Light
Community Member
3 years ago (edited)

What a shame. If he had a mentor who guided him, he could have discovered something to help humanity.

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Molly Tallmadge
Community Member
3 years ago

This is actually really interesting

Tomas Holicka
Community Member
3 years ago

It's brilliant, and with 3d printers probably even easier today. Reminds me of the time these two guys just built a flying machine, wait, what were they called... The Wrights, right.

Warren Portsmouth
Community Member
3 years ago

Don't forget Pearson who crash landed his flying machine into the top of a 6ft gorse hedge in New Zealand a year before the Wrights put their flying machine in the air.

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Night Owl
Community Member
3 years ago

A really smart kid, maybe too smart. The parens seem a bit neglectful, even for that time.

Light
Community Member
3 years ago (edited)

What a shame. If he had a mentor who guided him, he could have discovered something to help humanity.

Load More Replies...
Molly Tallmadge
Community Member
3 years ago

This is actually really interesting

Tomas Holicka
Community Member
3 years ago

It's brilliant, and with 3d printers probably even easier today. Reminds me of the time these two guys just built a flying machine, wait, what were they called... The Wrights, right.

Warren Portsmouth
Community Member
3 years ago

Don't forget Pearson who crash landed his flying machine into the top of a 6ft gorse hedge in New Zealand a year before the Wrights put their flying machine in the air.

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