A man from Sweden was arrested after trying to start a nuclear reaction in his own kitchen. 31-year-old Richard Handl said that he was only doing it as a hobby and didn’t know that it was illegal.
It is illegal for a reason. It is dangerous and we don’t want someone without appropriate qualifications and the right equipment to experiment with nuclear power. Fortunately it is a highly complex process and very hard to accomplish without the knowledge and equipment.
Handl was trying to set up his own mini nuclear reactor for months before wondering if it was legal. Ironically he was the one that tipped off Sweden’s Radiation Authority by sending them a question about the legality of his project.
Very soon the police showed up at his home, arrested him and raided the place with geiger-counters to detect any radiation. Fortunately for him no dangerous levels of radiation were detected. “From now on, I will stick to the theory,” he said. Nevertheless he could still be sentenced for up to two years in prison.
It is a bit unusual that he had all that knowledge about physics and chemistry and no idea about the legality and safety issues of his “little experiment”.