Feeds

Swede cuffed for cooking nuclear reactor on kitchen stovetop

Add radioactive smoke detector innards. Stir

Remote control for virtualized desktops

A Swedish man was arrested and briefly detained for attempting to build a nuclear reactor in his kitchen.

"I've always been interested in nuclear physics and particle physics," the unnamed 31-year-old told the Helsingborgs Dagblad (Google Translate). "I have read many books about it and wanted to see if it worked. I just thought of it as an experiment."

Swedish kitchen reactor preparations

Stovetop nuke research (source: Helsingborgs Dagblad)

That experiment had involved radioactive materials taken from smoke detectors – presumably americium-241 – and other radioactive substances he had bought from a foreign source.

He also acquired a Geiger counter from the US. His expenses ran in the neighborhood of 5,000 to 6,000 kr ($780 to $940).

The amateur nuclear engineer wasn't secretive about his efforts. He had posted about the project on the internet, including an article entitled "How to build a nuclear reactor" in which he noted that it was "not that difficult" (inte är så svårt).

His run-in with the law came as a result of that openness. A couple of weeks ago, according to the HD, he wrote to the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten) and asked if it was legal to build a home nuclear reactor.

The nuke authority told him that they'd drop by his Ängelholm apartment to check on radiation levels – and when they did, they brought the police with them. The constables arrested the would-be reactor maker, brought him in for questioning, then released him after his cooperative debriefing.

He hadn't planned on using the reactor to generate electricity, which he said would have been too difficult, seeing as how he'd have needed to build a turbine and a generator.

But he says his experimentation has ended for now. "They took all my stuff", he told the HD. "Now I keep it at the theoretical level." ®

Bootnote

This home-reactor escapade is similar to the adventures of David Hahn, whose efforts were immortalized in a 2005 book entitled The Radioactive Boy Scout. However, although Hahn's first DIY reactor dreams were overturned in 1995, he was arrested in 2007 for stealing 16 smoke detectors. At age 31.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring
And disclose the biggest surprise of Comet 67P
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.