Instead of building model cars or doing crossword puzzles as a personal hobby, a Swedish man trying to split atoms in his kitchen said Wednesday he was only doing it as leisure activity, The Associated Press reported.
Richard Handl told the AP that he had the radioactive elements radium, americium and uranium in his apartment in southern Sweden when police showed up and arrested him on charges of unauthorized possession of nuclear material.
Handl, 31, said he had been trying for months to build a nuclear reactor at home, maintain a blog about his experiments, even describing how he created a small meltdown on his stove.
Only after a bit of work and time passed, did he wonder if it might not be legal and sent a query to Sweden's Radiation Authority. They're answer? Sending the police.
"I have always been interested in physics and chemistry," Handl said, adding that he just wanted to "see if it's possible to split atoms at home."
The police raided Handl's home in late July; the police refuse to comment. If convicted, Handl could face fines or up to two years in prison.
And while the police did not detect dangerous levels of radiation in his apartment, he now admits the project wasn't his best idea.
"From now on, I will stick to the theory," he said.