One Swedish man tried for months to build a nuclear reactor in his kitchen, and he would probably have never stopped. Richard Handl was curious if he could split an atom at home. Police finally shut down his home research center after he made a call to the radiation authorities to ask if what he was doing was legal.
Living in southern Sweden in Angelholm, Handl said he would just stick to reading books about physics from now on. What’s even crazier is he was able to order the radioactive materials online, from Germany. It’s thought he was able to acquire all the materials for roughly 500 USD. It’s a bit scary to think anyone can buy ingredients to build nuclear weapons online without accreditations. At the same time, we can’t blame the supplier, they probably thought nobody would ever try to build a nuclear reactor at home.
Handl was posting regular updates on his experiments on his blog for six months. The blog was called Richard’s Reactor, which showed he was experimenting regularly on radium, uranium, thorium, and beryllium. The goal was to split an atom and start a nuclear reactor in his kitchen. Being unemployed some fathomed it was to create free electricity. Though Handl has confirmed it was simply curiosity.
Police have now confiscated all the nuclear materials and took his computer away also. However, Handl has told the press he had everything under control safely. An expert physician said that Handl was being extremely reckless and the experiments were highly dangerous. From his blog reports, he was simply cooking the different radioactive elements on a stove. And it even caused an explosion at one point.
In the end, Handl was convicted in 2014 for conducting illegal experiments on dangerous materials and for breaking the radiation safety act. However, he was only issued a fine of 13,600 kronor which is roughly 1600 USD. Hopefully, it has deterred Handl from future experiments!