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Louis Slotin’s Screwdriver
Driver

Origin

Louis Slotin

Type

Screwdriver

Effects

Releases radiation when it touches the ground

Downsides

Radiation poisoning, possible death if not treated within 9 days

Activation

Touching the ground

Collected by

Scalec

Section

Fermi-989L

Aisle

725083-48711

Shelf

682889-76551-2489

Date of Collection

June 4, 1946

[Source]


OriginsEdit

Louis Slotin was a physicist working on the Manhattan Project when an accident occurred, exposing him to large amounts of radiation and killing him nine days later.

At Los Alamos Laboratory, he experimented on the plutonium and uranium cores for atomic bombs to determine their criticality mass or how much material was needed to detonate the core and bomb. He placed the two half spheres of beryllium needed to reflect back and magnify the core’s energy for detonation, separated only by a screwdriver. This was not standard procedure, as actual spacers would have been used instead. The screwdriver slipped and the two halves met, releasing a burst of radiation into the room. Slotin quickly tore off the top half and ordered all of the researchers to exit the building, where he started succumbing to the effects of radiation poisoning until his death 9 days later.

Slotin was the second victim of that particular plutonium core; the first was Harry K. Daghlian, Jr. Nicknamed the “Demon core” it was the first atomic bomb test after WWII, where it performed normally and as expected.

EffectsEdit

When dropped on the ground, it releases a short burst of radiation. When activated, it will make the air glow blue due to ionizing nearby gas particles, which will heat up the area. Those right next to or closest to the screwdriver will experience a strong sour taste in their mouth and feel an intense burn in their hands. If not treated, they will start to gain symptoms of radiation poisoning until they succumb by 9 days.

TriviaEdit

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