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Neighborhood Up in Arms over Home Cyclotron

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Neighborhood Up in Arms over Home Cyclotron

Neighborhood Up in Arms over Home Cyclotron

Neighborhood Up in Arms over Home Cyclotron

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5044104/5044105" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Photo of a Scandiatronix MC16 cyclotron similar to the one Albert Swank Jr. wants to install in his Anchorage garage. Courtesy Albert Swank Jr. hide caption

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Courtesy Albert Swank Jr.

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.