While the recent financial woes of the troubled multinational is news to no one, the fact that Kodak had a nuclear reactor hidden in its basement sure sends a few alarm bells ringing.
At least it wasn’t a bomb
The reactor was neither used for power generation, nor thankfully, was it a bomb. Parked in a basement of their Rochester office in New York until 2006, was a device no larger than the size of a refrigerator containing 3.5 pounds of enriched uranium — incidentally the kind used in making bombs, but that’s besides the point. Sources at Kodak say that the device was used to check chemicals and other materials for impurities.
Potential public safety breach
So the mini-reactor was being used for research. That shouldn’t be too much of an issue, except that practically no one knew about the existence of the device except the technicians who operated it and a few Federal officials. How does a private company get access to weapons grade uranium? Much less park it in the basement in the middle of a densely populated city without informing city authorities? These are the questions to which no one seems to have any answers yet.
“I’ve never heard of it at Kodak,” said Miles Pomper, senior research associate at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Washington. “It’s such an odd situation because private companies just don’t have this material.”