DIY Nuclear Fusion Reactor

Boing Boing's Mark Frauenfelder told us that the secret antidote to a stressful modern life is making things with your own two hands, but some people really take DIY to an extreme.

Meet Mark Suppes, a web developer by day and an amateur physicist/engineer at night who's developing his own homemade nuclear fusion reactor.

Yes, you read that right: Nuclear. Fusion. Reactor. And no, it's actually not illegal to make one in your own home.

Mr Suppes, 32, is part of a growing community of "fusioneers" - amateur science junkies who are building homemade fusion reactors, for fun and with an eye to being part of the solution to that problem.

He is the 38th independent amateur physicist in the world to achieve nuclear fusion from a homemade reactor, according to community site Others on the list include a 15-year-old from Michigan and a doctoral student in Ohio.

While they might un-nerve the neighbours, fusion reactors of this kind are perfectly legal in the US.

"As long as they [private citizens] obtain that material [the components of the reactor] legally, they could do whatever they want," says Anne Stark, senior public information officer for California's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

But rest assured, folks. Without nuclear materials like uranium or plutonium, these gadgets are perfectly safe:

"There is no chance of any kind of accident with fusion," says Neil Calder, communications chief for Iter, a multi-national project begun in 1985 with the aim of demonstrating the feasibility of fusion power.

"There's no CO2 pollution, there's no greenhouse gases, you can't use it for proliferation [the spread of nuclear weapons] - it has so many advantages," he said.

His neighbors, however, are less than amused: Link

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