The tale of the radioactive Boy Scout


Under no circumstances should you attempt this at home.

Comments (7)
  1. Puckdropper says:

    Sounds like fiction to me.  It’s not that I don’t believe it can happen, but the story spent so much time talking about the guy and not what was happening that I began to wonder.

  2. Adam says:

    I did a speech on this story in high school, over 7 years ago.  My speech focused on how many radioactive materials there are in the world.  

    As for the truth of the story, remember he was trying to build a small reactor, I do not believe he actually succeeded.  It is not hard to believe he got his hands on some radioactive material.

  3. reader says:

    While I’m sure the story is probably correct in terms of how the various elements used can be obtained from common household items, the real question is whether the methods mentioned in the story can feasibly yield materials of sufficient concentration, purity and quantity to actually become a radioactive hazard.  I’m somewhat skeptical but on the other hand, I don’t have enough time and expertise in this area.  Anyone has a nuclear chemist friend?

  4. Brian says:

    VERY spooky. Snopes doesn’t have it at all and I grew up less than 20 miles from that place!

  5. reader says:

    I did a little more searching on the Internet and I guess the story is true after all.  I also found a slightly more detailed account:

    http://www.wesjones.com/silverstein1.htm

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