The world will always have eccentrics, and this moment's is Richard Handl, a 31 year old unemployed Swede who wanted to transform his kitchen into a nuclear reactor. Whether he is really sane is for doctors to say, but the regular man will brand him 'crazy' or 'retarded'.
Splitting atoms is a highly complex scientific process that should be handled in highly secure facilities, with the right equipment. Mr Handl cannot be faulted for being interested in nuclear science, but he can be greatly faulted for not realizing that was such a dangerous fete to try to achieve right in your kitchen! What with the risk of radiation and ultimate death? Then if the radiation emitted was huge enough, he would also have jeopardized his neighbors.
Thank goodness he
got in touch with Sweden's radiation authority to check if what he was
doing was legal. Because the authority notified the police who went to his flat in Angelholm in southern Sweden and confiscated the nuclear material and his computer. He might be fined, or reprimanded, but that would not be a big deal. The big deal, according to me, is why and how do such volatile materials be easily available to every Tom, Dick and Harry? Mr Handl claims he bought the material from eBay and Germany. God forbid if terrorists get hold of such stuff and get ideas.
But Mr Handl is a great optimist and believes he would not have hurt himself, for he had been experimenting for six months and knew what he was doing. A pity we willnever know if he would have gone down in history as a creator of the second Chernobyl disaster or an inventor of home nuclear power production. For now, he says he will concentrate on reading science books and take a hiatus from the lab.