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"A Nuclear Reactor and a Boy Called Lovey" is the thirteenth episode of the second season of the American sitcom Young Sheldon. The episode aired on January 17, 2019.


Sheldon attempts to build a nuclear reactor. Also, a university cocktail party gets heated when Dr. Sturgis' colleague, Dr. Linkletter, flirts with Meemaw, and Georgie is heartbroken when he learns Veronica has a boyfriend.[1]


Adult Sheldon recalls that his dad tells him to close the refrigerator but is deciding between pudding, and jello. At the same time, he blames Missy for wasting electricity for keeping the nightlight.

At school, Georgie (Montana Jordan) apologizes to Veronica (Isabel May) for his behavior. Without making it a big deal, she forgives him. Georgie asks if they can go out for dinner Saturday night as platonic friends. Veronica politely declines as she's already got a date with her boyfriend. This hits him hard as he stands frozen by the lockers. Just then, Sheldon and Tam (Ryan Phuong) pass him by him. While Tam thinks he's sad, Sheldon feels he's simply hungry. Sheldon goes to his Science teacher, Mr. Givens to learn about cheaper methods of electricity generation. Crossing out fossil fuel, hydro and solar, he chooses nuclear. As he figures out how to create it, he leaves a message at the studio behind creating Professor Proton. Just then, Georgie walks in and Sheldon asks if he was upset or hungry earlier in the day. Georgie asks him to shut up and quietly retires to his room. Sheldon still reiterates it as hunger. At home, Meemaw receives a call from John Sturgis inviting her to be his plus one at a university event. She is nervous and anxious as she never attended college and it would be an all-scientist event. Sheldon comes by and ask about sourcing radioactive material; they brainstorm a bit and ultimately arrive at at smoke detectors and the trace amounts of Americium 241. John mentions that a few companies who may source it to him at zero cost as long as it is for a school project. At dinner, George and Mary wonder where Georgie is as he didn't show up, who Missy thinks he may be pining about Veronica. Mary goes to check up on him, who is upset Veronica has a boyfriend. Mary says it's an extremely handsome boy called Dustin and surmises it is because he is taller, rubbing salt in his wound and adding to his chagrin and frustration.

Back at the dinner table, Mary mentions Georgie is crushed and asks George if she broke his heart. The next day, Sheldon receives his bulk-order of smoke detectors and carries his successful sourcing of radioactive material to Professor Proton's studio who asks for his address immediately. Georgie is home writing a heart-to-heart love letter to Veronica. Mary is still not over George's mystery heartbreaker, and is told the person is named Katherine Dempsey. Mary is alarmed that George actually saw her bake cookies for Katherine's daughter's birthday, but still never spoke of being in love with her. In his defense, George says that it was young unrequited love and didn't hold value. When Mary asks if he'd marry her provided she loved him back, George says it doesn't matter. Mary gets ticked off, big time!

At school, as Georgie conjures up courage to hand over the letter to Veronica, Bryan Larkin snatches it reading it out aloud in front of everybody, who immediately start laughing out loud at him. Hurt, humiliated and insulted, Georgie paces away as Veronica watches on. Meanwhile, Meemaw and John arrive at the event. Meemaw is nervous. Soon, they meet one of John's colleagues Dr. Linkletter, who specializes in quantum gravity. John introduces Meemaw as his girlfriend overdoing it a little bit. Embarrassed, she asks him to change the subject and soon they talking quantum gravity. When Dr. Linkletter asks Meemaw is she's aware about String Theory, she smoothly convinces him to explain it. He defines it and recollects the same topic told to her by Sheldon. In no time, she fits right into the crowd. Missy and George hang out in the backyard where she tells him about Georgie's love letter recitation in the hallway and how he overused the word “love.” George feels bad for his son and decides to have a talk. He goes to Georgie's room who's packing stuff to move away to Alaska as he can't show up at school as now Veronica thinks he's a jerk and the rest of the school has started calling him, “Lovey Cooper.” George reminds him that he's a good kid with a huge heart and he'll find a girl who's meant solely for him. Just then, Mary walks by commenting about getting himself a Katherine Dempsey. George asks if he can join in for Alaska too, getting Georgie all puzzled. George loudly repeats that he was just fifteen years old.

As the event continues, the trio bond really well. Linklater starts flirting with Meemaw which makes her uncomfortable, prompting John asks Linkletter to be careful. Soon, they enter a war of words which quickly escalates to physical violence. Meemaw pulls Sturgis out of the place. When he asks if she's mad at him, Meemaw blushedly says that she's rather turned on. Later in the day, Meemaw notices the Mary-George cold relationship. Mary says it's a punishment for George and she can't talk about it as per her promise. Moreover, if she started she won't stop. Soon, the doorbell rings and George goes to get the door. He's left alarmed as the anti-nuclear squad show up who are here to capturing the radioactive material Sheldon's kept stashed away. George and Mary take them to him and young Cooper, who's busy disassembling smoke detectors, who realize that he might be in trouble!





  • Jordan Leer as Bryan
  • Zoran Radanovich as Russian Dad




  • The events of this episode were mentioned in The Big Bang Theory episode The Maternal Combustion. However, there is the inconsistency that Mary says that Sheldon was 13 when he attempted to Build the Nuclear Reactor while in this episode He's around 9 or 10.
  • This episode is likely based on the case of David Hahn, a Boyscout who like Sheldon attempted to build a Nuclear Reactor on his home.
  • Episode 2 in the first season when Sheldon Cooper got in trouble with the FBI for trying to buy uranium. It is a lot worse trying to build nuclear reactor.