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Kodak Had a Nuclear Reactor in NY for Nearly 30 Years

By - Source: Democrat and Chronicle | B 49 comments

Here's your dose of whacky Monday news.

Over the last few months, most headlines regarding Kodak have focused on the company's financial struggles. Early this year, Kodak filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection, and, not too long after, announced plans to step away from the digital camera market and move more towards home photo printers and high-speed commercial inkjet presses. Today brings something totally different: News that, up until 2006, Eastman Kodak had its very own nuclear reactor in New York.

According to a recent report in Democrat and Chronicle, Kodak kept a small nuclear reactor underground at Kodak Park, the company's Rochester, NY headquarters. The reactor was apparently for research purposes and was contained insider a bunker with two-foot-thick concrete walls. Albert Filo, a former Kodak research scientists, is quoted as saying the reactor was used to check the purity of materials as well as for tests related to neutron radiography. According to D&C, "only key personnel" could go into the chamber where it was stored, and never while it was running.

Now, the fact that Kodak had a nuclear reactor, no matter how small, is surprising, but the fact that it was there for nearly 30 years and so few people knew about it is that much more surprising. Apparently Kodak never made a public announcement regarding the facility and a spokesperson for the company told the Democrat and Chronicle that he wasn't sure whether police, fire, or hazardous-material officials were ever notified. Word of the reactor only got out a few months back, when a former employer mentioned it to a reporter.

When the reactor was dismantled in 2006, federal regulators ensured Kodak provided detailed plans of how it planned to remove the reported 3.5 pounds of highly enriched uranium it had been keeping in the basement for nearly 30 years.

Click through to read the full story on Kodak's very own nuclear reactor.

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Top Comments
  • 27 Hide
    joytech22 , May 15, 2012 12:25 AM
    Wow, that's pretty cool.
    If a camera company could make a nuclear reactor, what has Apple been doing...?

    Mwahahaw.. (Just kidding)
  • 23 Hide
    Anonymous , May 15, 2012 12:11 AM
    and people complain nucleur power is dangerous and will kill us all
  • 22 Hide
    everix , May 15, 2012 1:28 AM
    nebunso why does such a company like KODAK need a nuclear reactor? no matter how big or how small it's unacceptable...how are they going to get rid of it and clean up now that they are completely bankrupt?


    You're a moron. It clearly says in the article that it was dismantled in 2006 and they weren't bankrupt (or hadn't filed for it) until this year.
Other Comments
    Display all 49 comments.
  • 23 Hide
    Anonymous , May 15, 2012 12:11 AM
    and people complain nucleur power is dangerous and will kill us all
  • -9 Hide
    TheBigTroll , May 15, 2012 12:11 AM
    this is so jokes
  • -6 Hide
    Trueno07 , May 15, 2012 12:24 AM
    WATloland people complain nucleur power is dangerous and will kill us all


    http://www.theonion.com/articles/nuclear-energy-advocates-insist-us-reactors-comple,19740/
  • 27 Hide
    joytech22 , May 15, 2012 12:25 AM
    Wow, that's pretty cool.
    If a camera company could make a nuclear reactor, what has Apple been doing...?

    Mwahahaw.. (Just kidding)
  • 11 Hide
    fb39ca4 , May 15, 2012 12:30 AM
    Seems legit.
  • 18 Hide
    otacon72 , May 15, 2012 12:57 AM
    beaynWhat other companies have secret nuclear reactors in their basements? This is a photo company, not one you'd think would have such a thing. I doubt Kodak security was military grade. If someone wanted, they probably could have stolen the enriched uranium for a bomb.


    Would be kind of difficult since no one knew about it.
  • 17 Hide
    Anonymous , May 15, 2012 12:58 AM
    It is a very, very, very small reactor. A small research reactor like a 250KW TRIGA II is a 1000 time big. Kodak likely needed a small neutron source for testing.
  • 12 Hide
    K2N hater , May 15, 2012 1:00 AM
    Perhaps the solution Kodak's financial problems is to move to Iran. I'm sure Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will love Kodak printers.

    /sarcasm
  • 18 Hide
    computernerdforlife , May 15, 2012 1:03 AM
    Conspiracy nuts: insane story behind this
    Kodak: does this because they can
    Regular Joe: less than 2 minutes of thoughts on the topic then something else takes over
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , May 15, 2012 1:24 AM
    Maybe they were testing the film to see how it can withstand a nuclear fallout :)  That's the only way i can make sense of it.
  • 22 Hide
    everix , May 15, 2012 1:28 AM
    nebunso why does such a company like KODAK need a nuclear reactor? no matter how big or how small it's unacceptable...how are they going to get rid of it and clean up now that they are completely bankrupt?


    You're a moron. It clearly says in the article that it was dismantled in 2006 and they weren't bankrupt (or hadn't filed for it) until this year.
  • -9 Hide
    zachusaman , May 15, 2012 1:34 AM
    A picture is worth a thousand words... a nuclear bomb is worth a million lives. have fun on the stockmarket today shareholders.
  • 11 Hide
    pedro_mann , May 15, 2012 1:43 AM
    nebunso why does such a company like KODAK need a nuclear reactor? no matter how big or how small it's unacceptable...how are they going to get rid of it and clean up now that they are completely bankrupt?

    Must not have read the part about dismantling it in 2006?
  • -4 Hide
    whyso , May 15, 2012 1:50 AM
    Now, How much is the government hiding?
  • 7 Hide
    erunion , May 15, 2012 1:56 AM
    nebunso why does such a company like KODAK need a nuclear reactor?


    Let me google that for you....
    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=neutron+radiography
  • -1 Hide
    beayn , May 15, 2012 3:03 AM
    otacon72Would be kind of difficult since no one knew about it.

    Kodak knew about it. The fact that the info didn't leak doesn't legitimize having one.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 15, 2012 3:10 AM
    If a reactor that small had a meltdown, it might kill a stray mouse. Oh noes. In other news, a 11 year old genius just built a fusion reactor. http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-02/boy-who-played-fusion?page=all
  • 9 Hide
    GI_JONES , May 15, 2012 3:27 AM
    Kodak supplies film for x-ray and nuclear medicine studies, and the reactor was for research. There is also a reactor at PennState University. It is used for research. I saw it in 82. A friend of mine was touring it for a class and I tagged along. We were able to get within a few ft of the containment pool, and could see the greenish/yellow glow. Thats probably why my kids are the way they are..lol
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