Richard Handl kept radioactive elements radium, americium and uranium in his apartment, but he was arrested only after he had sent a question to Sweden’s Radiation Authority, asking whether what he was doing is legal.
“I wanted to see if it’s possible to split atoms at home,” Handl said. While it may be possible, it certainly is not legal under Sweden’s law, and Handl may be looking at two years in prison.
Handl’s blog — still available at richardsreactor.blogspot.com — describes his efforts in detail: obtaining hard-to get materials, trying to create nuclear fission and even having a small “meltdown” in his kitchen after trying to “cook Americium, Radium and Beryllium in 96% sulphuric-acid”.
Handl describes details of his arrest calmly and objectively.
“I was ordered by the police to get out of the building with my hands up, then three men came, with geiger-counters and searched me. Then I was placed in a police-car, when Radiation Safety Authory went into my apartment with very advanced measure-tools. So, my project is canceled,” he wrote in the blog.