Swede arrested for building nuclear reactor in kitchen

Adam Parris-Long
Yahoo! News4 August 2011

A Swedish man has been arrested after building a nuclear reactor in his kitchen, claiming that splitting atoms is his ‘hobby’.

The Swede, named in media reports as Richard Handl, 31, was taken into custody after he contacted the country’s Radiation Authority, who in turn alerted police. Handl had kept a blog on his efforts, stating recently, “I was arrested and sent to jail, when the police and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authory (sic) searched my apartment”.

“They took all of my radioactive stuff…so my project is cancelled!” he added. With posts dating back to May, Handl’s ‘experiments’ included blending chemicals Americium, Radium and Beryllium on a gas cooker. Mr Handl claims that he has ‘always been interested in physics and chemistry’.

In his first post Handl states, “My project is to build a working nuclear reactor. Not to gain electricity, just for fun and to see if it's possible to split atoms at home”.

Despite his arrest Handl continues to update the blog, posting media coverage of this exploits. If convicted, he could face heavy fines or up to two years in prison. Swedish police refused to comment on the arrest in late July.

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