Feeds

Swede cuffed for cooking nuclear reactor on kitchen stovetop

Add radioactive smoke detector innards. Stir

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.