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Neighborhood Up in Arms over Home Cyclotron

Civil engineer and nuclear technician Albert Swank wants to build a circular particle accelerator, or cyclotron, in his garage in a well-manicured residential area adjacent to downtown Anchorage, Alaska.

But some of his neighbors aren't too comfortable with the idea, and they've convinced the city assembly to propose a law specifically forbidding the cyclotrons in residential areas.

Swank wants to rebuild a cyclotron being decommissioned at Johns Hopkins University to create radioactive isotopes for Alaska hospitals. The isotopes are used to treat cancer and are also used in imaging machines.

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Xeni Jardin
Xeni Jardin can be heard on NPR’s Day to Day, offering technology insights for listeners nationwide. Jardin is also a contributing writer for Wired Magazine, as well as a tech culture journalist and co-editor of the collaborative weblog, the award-winning "Directory of Wonderful Things."