The Museum of Hoaxes

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A collection of strange and curious science miscellanea brought to you by the author of Elephants on Acid and Electrified Sheep
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Man builds working nuclear reactor in his kitchen, 2011
A Swedish man, Richard Handl of Ängelholm, attempted to conduct a nuclear fission experiment in his kitchen. He obtained radioactive materials from devices such as smoke detectors as well as online from sites including eBay, and then he combined those materials on top of his stove. He detailed his progress on a blog titled Richard's Reactor. He told reporters, "I thought I would do an experiment to see if it really works to build a nuclear reactor." He also reassured journalists that he was constantly monitoring the experiment with a Geiger counter and could have stopped the reaction if it had run out of control.

Handl contacted Sweden's radiation authority to see if what he was doing was legal. They responded by sending the police to raid his apartment on July 20. The authorities later released him after determining radiation levels in his home were safe. Links: msnbc, BBC.

Photo taken by Richard Handl showing the explosive result of combining Americium, Radium and Beryllium in a 96% sulphuric-acid solution on top of his stove.
Posted By: alex | Date: Thu Aug 04, 2011
Category: Amateurs, Chemistry, Physics, Nuclear Physics, Sweden,
Some other topics you might find interesting:
Hello, radiation authority? Yeah, I wanted to to if building my own dirty bomb is illegal? ...(please note the cigarette butts where the food should be).
Posted by mario in new jersey on 08/10 at 02:40 AM
Read "The Radioactive Boy Scout" to see how it's really done:
Posted by EP in The Moon on 08/10 at 01:07 PM
Of note, it's actually possible - almost easy, really - to build a home-made *FUSION* reactor. Farnsworth Fusors are an esoteric, but surprisingly popular garage project that actually produces nuclear fusion. Not in any useful amounts (unless you have a need for a lot of neutrons)and certainly not efficient enough to produce power. Still awesome.
Posted by Bobcat on 08/13 at 12:37 AM
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