Kodak had a secret nuclear reactor loaded with weapons-grade uranium hidden in a basement. How did they get permission to own it, let alone install it in a basement in the middle of a densely populated city? Nobody really knows. Nobody in city or state government or anywhere else knew about it until it was recently leaked by an ex-employee. BTW, it was dismantled in 2006. Makes you wonder who else may have stuff like this and where.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

ooddballz May 14, 2012 at 9:37 am

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it was dismantled in 2006 in order to move in the alien spacecraft the needed to reverse engineer so they could make a futuristic missile delivery system.

They had to get rid of all that weapons grade material somehow.

CO2Insanity May 14, 2012 at 9:43 am

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This gives new meaning to Kodak’s old motto “You press the button, we do the rest.” Kaboom!

Kip Hooker May 14, 2012 at 10:11 am

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Perhaps they were developing an altogether new type of camera flash?

PsychoDad May 14, 2012 at 10:30 am

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“It’s a different kind of photography: altogether.”

“It’s a different kind of photography.
It’s a different kind of photography.”

PsychoDad May 14, 2012 at 10:28 am

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“Californium Neutron Flux multiplier (CFX) “????

That sounds just so awesomely awesome. Like I could run a Delorean through time with it or something.

Progressive Hemrrhoid May 14, 2012 at 2:29 pm

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I bet it was a DOE project to develop a film that could be used for close up high speed photography of low yield nuclear blast tests. They still do tests underground, only on a much smaller scale.

Nancy May 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm

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Oh, give me a break. It’s tiny. They had it for a specific reason, it was in the article. There are some types of research that can only be gotten from a neutron source, which is all that this reactor was. It can be used like a reverse x-ray – neutrons tend to get absorbed by liquids. So, you could irradiate an engine block and create a picture of where the the lubricants were. There used to be much bigger test reactors all over this country. Georgia Tech had one in downtown Atlanta until it was dismantled for the Olympics, and it also had a pneumatic system for running samples. There used to be one at the University of Lowell, you could see it from the highway, I don’t know if it is still there.

No one has to be in contact with the reactor if you are running it with a pneumatic system. You turn it on, remotely, run in the samples via the pneumatic tubes, then run the samples back out, and turn the reactor off. Did you ever see the movie “The Shadow”, where messages are delivered by tubes? That’s a pneumatic system. No “atomic fairies and unicorns” were needed for a system of this type. As to why they never told anyone about it, your article is a great example of why they kept it quiet.

I visited Kodak City once in High School. I would be far more afraid of the tons of chemicals coming into that plant by rail car than a little reactor sealed in concrete.

flashingscotsman May 14, 2012 at 4:23 pm

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But it sure sounded good, didn’t it? Don’t you get the connection? Al-Kodak?

GUNBOAT May 14, 2012 at 7:25 pm

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on my mark cue x-files theme…mark! do de do da dee dee doo doo….

Snafu May 15, 2012 at 7:30 am

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Please. This is such a non story. MIT has had a good sized reactor in the middle of Cambridge since forever. And, if I recall correctly, its location and ease of access was an open secret on campus.

PsychoDad May 15, 2012 at 8:04 am

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The college I went to had a small reactor, too. I didn’t think the story was so much that there was a reactor, but that it was running weapons-grade stuff.

Nancy May 16, 2012 at 6:41 am

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That was in fact a valid concern. I think the DOE had a program in the mid-eighties where they were swapping out all the weapons grade stuff for less highly enriched fuel, and the DOE would come and take it away. All very quietly done. Most universities did not really need highly enriched stuff for what they were doing, and I know a few professors who were glad to see it go.

Alien May 15, 2012 at 7:57 am

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I used to live miles from there for years.. My Dad was a Kodak guy, just like a lot of dads in Rochester. We used to go bowling somewhere in that huge complex on East Avenue.. It all waned slowly over the 80s, a bit sad

Notsosilent May 15, 2012 at 8:08 am

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I had a job offer in Rochester years ago, when I flew in the place looked terrible downtown with all the construction, and the running joke was you were either a Kodak or IBM company man if you lived there.

Alien May 15, 2012 at 8:17 am

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Xerox too.. I liked it well enough, but you could tell it was declining, despite revitalization efforts.. maybe its nicer now, but i bailed for Arizona when i was 19

Notsosilent May 15, 2012 at 8:35 am

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Yea, I forgot about Zerox, that was the big three….

FormerlyDeanH May 15, 2012 at 8:59 am

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I recall making my first Xerography machine requisition. Heady days in management. Don’t miss them at all… Ahhh.

Anyway, while writing the request for this $6,000 behemoth, old commercials popped into my head. The problem came from not remembering the sound difference between Xerox and Zerex, cuz if you get lazy with either one, they become homophones. I wondered how a company that made engine coolant got into the business of photocopying, especially at so early a level of that business that its name became synonymous with the product itself.

I remember the Zerex ads where a guy jabs a small hole into a radiator of a running engine which immediately started pissing coolant. Then he jabbed another one and it spit a drop out and stopped virtually immediately.

Self-sealing radiator juice. By the time I started driving it seemed odd that this product was no longer being hyped. Turned out it clogged everything, not just leaks.

Hehe heheh, I said homophones.

Notsosilent May 15, 2012 at 9:05 am

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LOL!!!