Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Russian police said a man went to Chernobyl to get exposure he believed necessary to become immortal (Reuters)

Russian police have arrested a university lecturer who claims to have used a large quantity of radioactive material illegally stored in his house to make a friend immortal.

Moscow authorities found 14kg of highly radioactive material, including various metal objects, parts of equipment components, a radon battery and radioactive soil in the residence of a 35-year-old professor.

Asked for an explanation, the man, whose identity has not been revealed, said he has been using the material to help a friend in his quest for immortality, a police source told RIA Novosti.

"The Muscovite said he has a friend who wants to become immortal so he exposed him to radiations," the source was quoted as saying.

"The friend even went to Chernobyl to get exposure."

In April 1986, an unexpected power surge at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine triggered a series of explosions that led to the release of large quantities of radioactive particles into the atmosphere.

Chernobyl still stands as the worst nuclear disaster in history, and the plant is still surrounded by an access-restricted 30km "exclusion zone."

Moscow police seized the radioactive material that was stored in the professor's flat and garage and deposited it in secure containers.

"As a result, a criminal case has been opened under Article 220 of the Criminal Code (illegal handling of nuclear materials and radioactive substances)," Russia's Interior Ministry told Firstnews.

If convicted, the professor faces up to seven years in jail.

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