Kodak had a nuclear reactor in its basement for 30 years
For more than 30 years, Kodak Park was home to a little-known underground labyrinth containing a small nuclear research reactor, one of the few of its kind in the world.
It wasn’t a power plant, and carried no risk of explosion. Nothing ever leaked. Eastman Kodak Co. officials say the research device was perfectly safe.
Still, the reactor was locked down, remotely surveilled and tightly regulated — mainly because it contained 3½ pounds of highly enriched uranium.
That’s the material that nuclear bombs are made of. Terrorists covet it.
When Kodak decided six years ago to close down the device, still more scrutiny followed. Federal regulators made them submit detailed plans for removing the substance. When the highly enriched uranium was packaged into protective containers and spirited away in November 2007, armed guards were surely on hand.
All of this — construction of a bunker with two-foot-thick concrete walls, decades of research and esoteric quality control work with a neutron beam, the safeguarding and ultimate removal of one of the more feared substances on earth — was done pretty much without anyone in the Rochester community having a clue.
In the annals of local information that was never truly public knowledge, this one deserves its own chapter.
The existence of the device was not, strictly speaking, a secret. Continue reading, click here