Swede Arrested After Attempting To Build Nuclear Reactor In His Kitchen

nukes31-year-old Richard Handl tried to engage in nuclear fission at home using radioactive materials purchased on eBay. He blogged charmingly about his exploits via the site Richard’s Reactor before being detained by authorities. (At right is a “tiny nuclear meltdown” which occurred on his stove top.) The New York Times reports:

A Swedish man who was arrested after trying to split atoms in his kitchen said Wednesday he was only doing it as a hobby.

Richard Handl told The Associated Press that he had the radioactive elements radium, americium and uranium in his apartment in southern Sweden when police showed up and arrested him on charges of unauthorized possession of nuclear material.

The 31-year-old Handl said he had tried for months to set up a nuclear reactor at home and kept a blog about his experiments, describing how he created a small meltdown on his stove.

Only later did he realize it might not be legal and sent a question to Sweden’s Radiation Authority, which answered by sending the police. “I have always been interested in physics and chemistry,” Handl said, adding he just wanted to “see if it’s possible to split atoms at home.”

16 Comments on "Swede Arrested After Attempting To Build Nuclear Reactor In His Kitchen"

  1. Simiantongue | Aug 5, 2011 at 7:01 pm |

    He’d of gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you kids and your meddling dog.

  2. Simiantongue | Aug 5, 2011 at 3:01 pm |

    He’d of gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you kids and your meddling dog.

  3. Rex Vestri | Aug 5, 2011 at 7:59 pm |

    He really should stick with cooking meth instead of trying to go get all fancy and split atoms.

  4. Rex Vestri | Aug 5, 2011 at 3:59 pm |

    He really should stick with cooking meth instead of trying to go get all fancy and split atoms.

  5. Hadrian999 | Aug 5, 2011 at 8:26 pm |

    can’t we at least get all our wing nuts and mad scientist types working on fusion instead

  6. Hadrian999 | Aug 5, 2011 at 4:26 pm |

    can’t we at least get all our wing nuts and mad scientist types working on fusion instead

  7. Old Soul | Aug 6, 2011 at 1:01 am |

    This isn’t that unusual, the government gets graduate students to build what would be working nuclear reactors and even nuclear weapons quite often, they just don’t give them fuel. 
    It is a little odd that he managed to attain fuel though.

  8. Anarchy Pony | Aug 5, 2011 at 9:01 pm |

    This isn’t that unusual, the government gets graduate students to build what would be working nuclear reactors and even nuclear weapons quite often, they just don’t give them fuel. 
    It is a little odd that he managed to attain fuel though.

    • read the vague list of things he scraped material from …its a little unnerving to realize that its comparatively easy

      the hard part is making the handmade tools to alter the structure of the materials and make them suitable for fusion…and this is far from the first time this kind of thing has happened

  9. TEPCO should hire that guy, at least he didn’t dump it into the ocean.

  10. jasonpaulhayes | Aug 5, 2011 at 10:06 pm |

    TEPCO should hire that guy, at least he didn’t dump it into the ocean.

  11. read the vague list of things he scraped material from …its a little unnerving to realize that its comparatively easy

    the hard part is making the handmade tools to alter the structure of the materials and make them suitable for fusion…and this is far from the first time this kind of thing has happened

  12. reminds me of the Detroit teen many years ago who turned his suburban neighborhood into a hot zone by accident…I gotta wonder what these guys are thinking…are they so consumed with the first goal (sustained reaction) that the notion of a means to terminate it NEVER occurs to them?? Srsly??

  13. reminds me of the Detroit teen many years ago who turned his suburban neighborhood into a hot zone by accident…I gotta wonder what these guys are thinking…are they so consumed with the first goal (sustained reaction) that the notion of a means to terminate it NEVER occurs to them?? Srsly??

  14. Anonymous | Aug 7, 2011 at 11:15 am |

    Good thing he didn’t ask if it’s legal to smoke pot. In Sweden, more than 50 grams could put you away for a max of 10 years. Unauthorized possession of nuclear material could only get him up to two years. How F’d up is that?

  15. Good thing he didn’t ask if it’s legal to smoke pot. In Sweden, more than 50 grams could put you away for a max of 10 years. Unauthorized possession of nuclear material could only get him up to two years. How F’d up is that?

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