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Power

Swede Arrested For Building Nuclear Reactor 410

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-you're-playing-with-power dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A 31 year old Swedish male was arrested for trying to build a nuclear reactor in his apartment. He got hold of radioactive material thru mail-order purchases and from smoke detectors. Police raided his apartment after he had contacted the Swedish Radiation Authority (Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten) to inquire if it was legal to construct a nuclear reactor at home."
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Swede Arrested For Building Nuclear Reactor

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  • The worying bit is (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @08:07AM (#36958622)

    He ordered some radioactive material from overseas

    Which was evidently delivered without any of the authorities being notified. How many Jihadi's are reading this and putting in their orders now?

  • Re:The hard parts (Score:5, Interesting)

    by plover (150551) * on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @08:11AM (#36958644) Homepage Journal

    Choice quote: "To get it to generate electricity you would need a turbine and a generator and that is very difficult to build yourself".

    On its face, the quote is correct. A turbine and generator would be hard to build yourself. From scratch.

    However, you can go to an automotive junkyard and pick up a used turbo unit for a few bucks, and while you're there, you can pick up an alternator, too. Now the problem is no harder than piping the steam from a pressure cooker through the turbo, and hooking the turbo to the alternator. Just add fission and you're on the grid!

    A lot of people are playing with homemade turbine engines made from junked car parts. Perhaps they are deliberately trying to make it sound hard to discourage other Swedes with too many smoke detectors from trying a similar experiment.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02, 2011 @10:26AM (#36960278)

    That's pretty much exactly the way David Hahn (the "atomic boy scout") did it. An alpha emitter - Am-241, but also radium from old clock dial paint - wrapping in IIRC beryllium foil to make a neutron source. The fissionable wasn't so much uranium as thorium (extracted from gas lantern mantles -- back then they still had thorium in them). Hahn had quite the little breeder reactor going in his garden shed.

    Not all nuclear reactors are multi-megawatt power reactors. Indeed, most aren't. Quite a few colleges have research reactors on campus. (Or had; who knows in these paranoid days.)

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