Kodak maintained an underground nuclear reactor for over 30 years

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member
It's no secret that Eastman Kodak Co. has fallen on hard times in recent memory, but despite all of that, the ailing photography company has been able to keep one...

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ikesmasher

TS Evangelist
Thats legit, I hope some cool tech breakthrough came from it.
And its nice to know kodak was intelligent enough to keep that a secret.
 

Night Hacker

TS Enthusiast
Small reactors are far safer than the larger ones we use to power our cities. Nuclear subs use small ones that are very safe. I would think it very unsafe to announce to the world that you have a nuclear reactor. Sounds like they were very safe about it.

By the way, did you know it was weapon's grade uranium?! Also, it was weapon's grade uranium. Did I mention it was weapon's grade?? TERRORISTS!!!! ;)
 
G

Guest

we will eventually find that there was a megatron inside the hoover dam.... and intel, apple etc were taking ideas and tech from it......
 
G

Guest

How are they going bankrupt...?

What does 3.5 pounds of enriched uranium go for on the open market..? (*snicker*)
 
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Reactions: Night Hacker
G

Guest

at the guest above:
the picture was taken by a kodak top-of-the-line 0.05mp camera (1980) :)

I still own a functional kodak c310 camera and I'm sad that kodak has fallen on hard times.

I also wonder what practical applications did the kodak radiography studies yield.
(airport x-ray counter? satellite-based surveillance system?)
 
G

Guest

"check out our small nuclear reactor filled with 3.5-pounds of weapons-grade enriched uranium in an underground basement!"

o.O
 

Night Hacker

TS Enthusiast
at the guest above:
I still own a functional kodak c310 camera and I'm sad that kodak has fallen on hard times.
Kodak C713 here, awesome camera for the cost. Back in the 80s I owned a Kodak instant camera and it was the best, I was so angry when Polaroid won that lawsuit, Polaroids sucked, the Kodak instant pics were like glossy developed pictures. I have always liked that company and am saddened at their hard times
 

TJGeezer

TS Enthusiast
You would think that Kodak could provide a better picture. :0P
Hey, someone had to dress in drag and sneak that picture using a Kodak Instamatic hidden on one side of a tissue-stuffed bra. They couldn't even use a flash attachment. Then they had to compensate for extreme radiation fogging, working with film by hand in a barely lit darkroom. Don't disparage the picture. I'm amazed it got out at all.
 
G

Guest

The size of the reactor has nothing to do with whether or not it is safe.
The reactors on subs are safer because they are better designed and better maintained.
 
G

Guest

@guest above

"[SIZE=13px]The size of the reactor has nothing to do with whether or not it is safe.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=13px]The reactors on subs are safer because they are better designed and better maintained"[/SIZE]
[SIZE=13px] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=13px]first, you said two contradictive statements above.. you said the size has nothing to do with safe or not, but the next sentence you called reactors on sub are safer..[/SIZE]
[SIZE=13px] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=13px]second, define what you called 'better designed' and 'better maintained'[/SIZE]
[SIZE=13px] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=13px]my advice, learn more before you post your smart comment[/SIZE]
 

Doctor John

TS Enthusiast
@guest above
"[SIZE=13px]The size of the reactor has nothing to do with whether or not it is safe.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=13px]The reactors on subs are safer because they are better designed and better maintained"[/SIZE]

[SIZE=13px]first, you said two contradictive statements above.. you said the size has nothing to do with safe or not, but the next sentence you called reactors on sub are safer..[/SIZE]

[SIZE=13px]second, define what you called 'better designed' and 'better maintained'[/SIZE]

[SIZE=13px]my advice, learn more before you post your smart comment[/SIZE]
Huh? how is it a contradiction to say size has nothing to do with it, but being on a sub does? No-one said sub reactors are safer because they are smaller!?
And why define what one calls "better designed" or "better maintained"? It's plain English.
My advice, take a chill-pill.;)
 

SNGX1275

TS Forces Special
It would be in the best interest of everyone involved to maintain a reactor the best they possibly could.
 
G

Guest

As far as I know regarding nuclear reactors, they use Uranium cores in such impurities as to be able to have their rate of decay controlled by Cadmium control rods being lowered in between the Uranium cores. This is not weaponizable Uranium, for such Uranium would cause just that, a chain reaction, rather than just the slow decay. This is why nuclear power plants "meltdown", as the cooling systems fail and the Uranium reaches such high temperatures that it literally melts down into the ground beneath it, rather than exploding. Because this was a small reactor, I highly, highly doubt that it contained weaponizable Uranium.
 

Tabbywabby

TS Member
For a weapon to be created you first need uranium-235. this is because when you bombard it with a neutron it becomes U-236; U-236 is outside of the belt of stability and will undergo fission, it will decompose by many different paths. The result is huge amounts of energy and more neutrons to bombard other atoms. For material to be fissionable its critical mass must be above 90% (the material must be at least 90% U-235). In nature the abundance of U-235 is 0.720% of all uranium. The process to "filter" U-235 is expensive and time consuming. You also must have enough of the material for the free neutrons to interact with, as free neutrons will decay outside of a nucleus they must hit an atom and as atoms are mostly open space this can be difficult with not enough or impure material. Nuclear reactors work on the same principle of creating U-236 with neutron bombardment, however the critical mass of the uranium is much lower (more economically viable) and the number of nuclear reactions taking place is much lower, thereby releasing less total energy. The reactions are also controlled by placing and removing Boron control rods (neutron absorbers). Meltdowns are a result of improper control of a nuclear reactor where the energy of the reaction excedes the cooling ability of the reactor, this can vaporise the cooling material along with the uranium itself, causing a possible explosion due to the pressure, not a nuclear explosion in the sense of a fission weapon.

In my opinion the chances of Kodak using 90% U-235 is very low, not simply because of the chances of weaponization but because they would probably not have been able to control the reaction. As it is hard enough to control with much lower critical mass.

Just thought I would enlighten people about nuclear chemistry :) Sorry for any errors, after writing this I was too lazy to correct it.