Quick, by a show of hands how many of you are declared or undeclared Nuclear Superpowers? None, really? Okay then, by another show of hands how many of you have either a nuclear reactor OR a significant amount of weapons grade uranium in your possession? For those of you who might be questioning how much and what kind of uranium, I am going to set the mark at one pound or more of U-235. Okay, still not seeing a lot of hands, but I guess that is a good thing. We can’t have everyone running around with all kinds of fissile materials now can we? But, I guess that doesn’t apply to Kodak.
Kodak has recently admitted they had a fully functioning nuclear reactor complete with three and a half pounds of weapons grade uranium in an underground lab in New York. They had it removed safely with the help of the government in late 2006, but the information is just now making the news, and not with the big splash it deserves. Yes, I know you are saying, but three and a half pounds isn’t enough to make a bomb. You need 15 to 25 KG of U-235 or something along the lines of 6 kg of Plutonium to make a bomb of any significance, even a crude bomb. Yes, you are exactly right, you do need that much material of either to make a sustainable nuclear reaction for a bomb. But, have you ever heard of a dirty bomb? You hardly need any fissile material for that. Hell, you don’t even need much nuclear experience to build one. That is what I am really getting at. Three and a half pounds of U-235 would make for a hell of a nasty dirty experience if combines with enough conventional explosives, would it not. I mean don’t we keep track of nuclear material for just that reason?
I know the possession and the reactor were not common knowledge and they had been in the basement lab for over thirty years. But really, what was a camera/film company doing with a nuclear reactor in the first place? Research in new ways to expose film? I guess. So Kodak decides they don’t need the reactor anymore and they contact the government to get rid of it. And surprise, the government is surprised a private company has a fully functioning nuclear reactor, even more surprised is the Nuclear Regulatory Commission when Kodak tells them they have 1,582 grams of U-235 at a 93.4% pure, in other words weapons grade. Kodak said their device was unique, but they also said they don’t know if any other company has a device like theirs. Umm, I know you bought the thing or built it in the 70’s but I for one am really surprised the government lost tabs on that much U-235 and an entire nuclear reactor. You know if they had put that baby up on eBay maybe they wouldn’t have had to file for bankruptcy in January of this year. Betcha anything Iran would have sniped Syria and Saudi Arabia in a last-minute bidding war. Kind of glad they got rid of it instead.