Swedish Man Arrested For Building a Nuclear Reactor In His Kitchen

Alex Knapp
Swedish Man Arrested For Building a Nuclear Reactor In His Kitchen

I'm generally an enthusiast of do it yourself, amateur science, but this strikes me as a bit of a bridge too far:

Swedish police have detained a 31-year-old man in Ängelholm in western Sweden who was discovered after he sought advice from authorities on the legality of building a nuclear reactor in a domestic kitchen.

The man began his experiment some six months ago and has reportedly been open about his plans to construct a nuclear reactor in his apartment in the small Swedish coastal town, maintaining a blog of his nuclear adventure.

The man, who explained that his interest in nuclear physics was awakened as a teenager, ordered some radioactive material from overseas and acquired more by taking apart a domestic fire alarm.

Despite the man's frank and full disclosure of his experiment, his activities only came to the attention of the authorities a couple of weeks ago when he contacted the Swedish Radiation Authority (Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten) to inquire if it was legal to construct a nuclear reactor at home.

Now, judging by the description of the article, there probably wasn't any real danger of this guy building a nuclear reactor - it's doubtful in the extreme that he had anywhere close to sufficient fissile material. Still, let me give all you amateur scientists out there a bit of advice: please avoid building nuclear reactors in your kitchen. Unless it's a cold fusion reactor. That would be awesome.

Additionally, here's a bit of advice for my fellow bloggers: if you're blogging about something as inherently interesting as building a nuclear reactor in your kitchen for six months, and nobody notices, you really, really need to brush up on your social networking, marketing, and SEO skills.