Note to self: When building a nuclear reactor in the kitchen, don't ask nuclear regulatory authorities for advice.
A 31-year-old man in Angelholm, Sweden, was detained after police learned he was trying to build a device to split atoms in his apartment, the news site The Local reported. He was later released.
The man had mail-ordered radioactive waste from overseas and had procured some on his own by dismantling home smoke detectors, according to an interview in the local Helsingborgs Dagblad newspaper.
Just to be on the safe side, the man decided to write to the Swedish Radiation Authority to make sure his hobby was legal, he told Helsingborgs Dagblad. Authorities there told him they would send someone out to measure radiation levels in the kitchen.
"When they came, they had the police with them," he told the newspaper.
"I have a Geiger counter and had not noticed any problems with radiation," he said.
The man said he sank $5,000 to $6,000 into an experiment that never got off the ground.
"I never got it going," he told the paper. "I had just bought what was needed, so I don't know (if it would have worked). It's probably pretty hard to get it to work. But they took all my stuff, so now I'm done."
A researcher for the radiation authority said the home-built reactor would not have worked.
"He could not cause any harm with what he had," Leif Moberg told the newspaper.