‘Radioactive Boy Scout’ Charged in Smoke Detector Theft

August 8, 2007 at 5:11 pm 8 comments

Rad Boyscout

Apparently he got caught collecting rad material, the different stories out there say he admitted to trying to build a reactor. On fox you can see a video, (who knows how long it will last) if you listen ignorance it the key thread- they claim he was trying to make uranium from the lithium batteries. Yeah lithium: atomic number 3, atomic weight 6.941 converted all the way to uranium, atomic number 92 and assuming he wants to make a reactor he would be after isotope 235. I think they meant he was after the Americium which is an alpha emitter, when you hit lithium with an alpha you can get neutrons. You can do cool stuff with neutrons, but you need lots of time and lots and lots of neutrons.

Here is a link to the story from Harper’s:



Entry filed under: Nuclear, Science & Engineering, Society.

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tote  |  August 8, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    I’m guessing he was trying to get the LIthium and Americium to make an AmLi neutron source. I think his original reactor was Thorium-fueled, so maybe he was trying to build a Gen II version of that. FOX news sucks.

  • 2. haha  |  September 24, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    yes this guy i read about him i think that he was 15 when he started his first neutron gun and again trying to make another reactor very funny but i wish i could get that kind of knowledge at such a young age

  • 3. DKDeckmann  |  February 3, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Never let the facts stand in the way of a good story.

  • 4. Dave Ostwald  |  October 31, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    As I understood it, the Lithium (from the Li batteries) was used to “purify” Thorium (from lantern mantles). It was his intention to bombard the Thorium with neutrons to create Uranium.

    • 5. beto  |  October 31, 2009 at 3:34 pm

      The thorium to uranium conversion is the tricky part. The AmLi Tote mentioned is where americium (smoke detectors) is used as an alpha source to bombard the lithium, this reaction gives you neutrons to convert fertile thorium to fissile uranium.

  • 6. знакомства для геев  |  December 17, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    мне кажется: бесподобно..

  • 7. paul  |  April 19, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Did working with radioactive elements give him all those blemishes on his face, or are they a pre-existing condition?

  • 8. smith  |  March 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    his face is jacked up,


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