100% Abstract legal question - Is is legal to own Uranium?

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by smiffy_the_ferret, Mar 20, 2012.

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  1. I've had a difficult day of looking through UK food safety law. Which made me realise actually how specific and nit-picky primary legislation actually is.
    Earlier this evening I unwound in front of an episode of the Big Bang Theory. One of the geeks on this show tried to build a nuclear reactor in his "Mom" 's garage as a kid.

    Legal question:
    (And it *is* theoretical - I do not actually wish to build an reactor, much less an A-bomb)
    Is it legal to own uranium for peaceful purposes in the UK??

    If I buy an A-bomb from Dodgy Boris' Ex-Soviet Emporium, I'm breaking proliferation laws.
    If I set off an A-bomb there's a 1998 Act that'll put me in prison.
    If I try to build an A-bomb there's a 2001 Terrorism Act to stop this.
    If I look at (or worse photocopy) actuall A-bomb plans then it's an Official Secrets breach.

    I don't want to acquire / make / set-off a bomb!

    If I use enough shielding that I wasn't going to harm myself or my neighbours, is it legal to own umpteen kilos of Uranium (Non-weapons grade). Under the above safety criteria, could I own a personal-sized Reactor for making electricity?

    It's possible that I've overlooked something obvious, but since UKAEA lost it's monopoly and foreign-firms operate some of our civil electricity reactors, atomic power can exist in private hands.

    With the legal ho-ha about building 10 new reactors in the UK soon, would one's biggest legal impediment be that your house doesn;t have planning permission to operate as a power-station?

    Any thoughts?

    (Apart from the fact that I'm an insomniac science-graduate with an over-active imagination)
  2. Well I assume there would be more red tape than you can shake a shitty stick at.
  3. I practice, there certainly would be in proving that I've got the necessary shielding, etc. It's why they have decade long public enquiries for every power-plant they build.
  4. Found! (I think!)

    The Daddy is "Radioactive Substances Act 1993"
    and it's backed up by
    "Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010"

    After looking up the difference between the minimum meat content of a "Meat and Veg pie" as opposed to a "Veg and meat pie" (it's 1% by the way), I don't have the wherewithal to traw through another Act tonight, but It's good to know where to look when I really want to see. Good-night all.
  5. Yes im not suprised. I expect the plans for the construction off said plants and locations ect would be under extensive scrutiny prior to ant actually being built.
  6. If you buy some antique crockery, it might have uranium glazing. Wouldn't recommend using it though.
  7. Most G10 watches are kept in Radioactive stowages, along with smoke detectors...
  8. Yup. I have a friend who has a set of red Fiestaware.
  9. Except for the ones on the chaps' wrists, eh!

    Is that for protection from the watches themselves, or is it for good nuclear housekeeping?

    I could imagine that if HM Grey War-Canoes use overpressure for CBNR collective protection, having all the radio-luminous watches & dials in one lead-lined bunker makes it easier to find if there's a hole somewhere letting fallout in.
  10. It appears that you are only allowed to build one if your name is something like Hahn, Handl, or HaHaHathefoolssaiditcouldnn'tbedonebutIhavethepower!!!

    These Men Were Caught Building Homemade Nuclear Reactors

    You may find it necessary to dig a big hole in your garden for your secret base and buy a fluffy white cat.
  11. I should probably point out that the radioactive stowage is not a special type of stowage- just a stowage under lock and key that only the Stores Senior Rate has access to unless a stocktake is needed.
  12. Smiffy, I bet your garden shed glows in the dark!
  13. I knew a couple that used to collect Cobalt Blue pottery.

    Used to know as in lost touch not dead and glowing in the dark used to know.
  14. No, it's illegal to hold anything that emits ionising radiation without relevant authority.

    The only radioactive sources permitted on watches now are tritium and promethium and manufacturers must conform to the relevant ISO to ensure the emissions are not exceeded and the watch face is marked correctly. I believe these radionuclides only emit beta particles which cannot escape construction of the watch. These watches can be identified by a T or P on the face.

    Some watches may be found with radioactive paint on the dials and hands. These are banned and it's illegal to hold one.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Oh right, It's more to stop the swabbies nicking the watches, then?