It is really shocking to know that Kodak would have anything to do with a nuclear reactor, but it did. For 30 years, in its basement bunker near Rochester, New York, Kodak kept a fully functioning nuclear reactor that had 3.5-pounds highly enriched uranium. Kodak kept this fact away from public knowledge until 2006. The U.S. goes around complaining from states and non-state actors having nuclear enrichment, it had one of its oldest camera companies having it in its basement.
According to Rochester’s local newspaper, Democrat and Chronicle, the reporter Steve Orr says there was never any worry since the situation never got out of hands, it never exploded, it never leaked and it never was any danger to environment or human lives. However, its security and safety precautions kept throughout does not mean that it was not a folly and neither does it justify keeping it. Still the logic seems very much unclear when considered in front of potential risks.
Albert Filo, a former Kodak research scientist said that it was just for checking some chemicals for impurities and for an imaging technique called “neutron radiography”. Still the answer is unsatisfactory. Could not he visit other nuclear reactor laboratories maintained by the U.S. government itself rather than having one of their own? Stupidity to say the least.
Till 1974, Kodak was sane enough to use the facilities at Cornell University, but later planned having one its very own! In 2006, Kodak felt no longer the need of it and helped by the U.S. Federal government shifted it safely to a uranium storage facility in South Carolina. If Kodak had been using its own nuclear reactor, then the question is who else has also been using it under their basement without common knowledge.