London: Some enjoy gardening as a hobby, but
for Swede Richard Handl, his favourite pastime was splitting
atoms in his kitchen.
Handl, 31, was arrested in western town of Angelholm on
charges of unauthorised possession of nuclear material,
Helsingborgs Dagblad, a leading Swedish newspaper, reported.
"I`ve always been interested in nuclear physics and
particle physics. I have read many books about it and wanted
to see if it worked. I just thought of it as an experiment,"
He recently contacted Sweden`s nuclear authority and
asked if it was permitted for an individual to build a nuclear
reactor at his home.
Alarmed by Handl`s query, the nuclear authority
informed police who raided his apartment and arrested him.
"I was arrested and sent to jail when the police and
the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority searched my apartment,"
the nuclear enthusiast wrote on a blog detailing his project.
"They took all my radioactive stuff, but I was released
after a hearing. But I am still a suspect for crime against
the radiation safety law," he said.
Handl, who has invested USD 5,000 to USD 6,000 on his
project, brought radioactive materials, as well as a Geiger
counter which he ordered from the US. He also dismantled smoke
detectors, which contain small amounts of nuclear material.
A researcher for the radiation authority said the home
-built reactor would not have worked. "He could not cause any
harm with what he had," Leif Moberg told the newspaper.
If convicted, Handl could face fines or up to two years