Kodak’s Underground Nuclear Reactor in a Bustling City

By Anupum Pant

Under the building 82 of Eastman park (Kodak park) in Rochester, New York, for about 30 long years, there existed a secret nuclear reactor which contained 3.5 pounds of weapons grade Uranium (highly enriched uranium) to produce neutrons for research. Of course, when it was under a building that belonged to Kodak, the reactor belonged to Kodak as well – to an American technology company focused on imaging solutions and services for businesses.

It may come as a surprise as to why would an imaging company have something like that in their basement. But this device, called the Californium Neutron Flux Multiplier (or CFX) was something Kodak had a perfect justification to own. The device was used to check materials and chemicals for impurities.

The 14 by 24 foot cavity in the ground where it was kept was very nicely shielded with several feet of concrete and earth on all sides, so safety was never a problem. In its full 30 year period for when it was there, there wasn’t a single safety issue.

The reactor was quite a well guarded secret because it used weapons grade uranium, although in not a quantity enough to make a big bomb. However, it operation was done with permission from the federal regulators.

In the year 2007 the highly enriched uranium was safely removed, with armed guards and was taken to a nuclear facility in South Carolina.

More at [Democrat and Chronicle]

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