You might not know the name David Hahn, but back in 1995, his fascination with nuclear power nearly triggered a radiological disaster in his Michigan hometown. As a teen, Hahn became fixated with the idea of building a nuclear reactor in his mother’s backyard shed — and he actually got pretty darn close to accomplishing it.
To amass the power needed for a nuclear reactor, Hahn took to scraping radioactive materials from common household items like smoke detectors. With his tools in hand, the kid began construction of his reactor. However, things did not go as planned (of course) and Hahn quickly tried to disassemble the reactor before it blew.
Despite not creating the reactor, Hahn still managed to contaminate his mother’s yard with radiation. It was so bad, the EPA had to come clear it up. Here’s a mini-documentary looking at Hahn’s bizarre accomplishment.
That is absolutely insane. Sadly, after his brush with nuclear greatness, life hasn’t been great for Hahn. Following a stint in the Navy and Marines, he was arrested in 2007. Police caught him trying to steal the smoke detectors in an apartment complex to amass more radioactive material for an unknown purpose.