For about 30 years, Kodak kept weapons-grade uranium hidden underneath their labs in Rochester, New York. The same type of uranium that’s used to make nuclear weapons.
— Kerry Brooks (@PrepperGirlUK) April 24, 2017
They used it to scan other materials. With a concentration level of 93.4% though, it’s the stuff terrorists dream of. Luckily they only had about a tenth of what’s needed to make a bomb. As one nuclear physicist pointed out though, that’s still alarming.
Edwin Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists said:
“But you can always imagine, an adversary that was coordinated could steal enough in different areas to kind of consolidate, and have enough for a bomb.”
The amount they had was about the size of a refrigerator and would have required a lot of time and effort to disassemble. It was also hard to get into.
Former Kodak researcher Albert Filo said:
“The walls surrounding it were two feet of reinforced concrete. The ceiling over it was again two feet of concrete and then eight feet of earth. So it was really a well-shielded instrument.”
A well-shielded instrument that, in the wrong hands, could cause mass carnage.
It wasn’t until 2007 that Kodak handed the uranium over to the government. Naturally the transaction was heavily guarded, especially since we live in a post-9/11 world.
Lyman pointed out the dangers by saying:
“There really should be an effort to eliminate the use of materials in commercial companies that could be used by terrorists to make nuclear weapons.”
While there are other similar reactors being used in the United States, most of them don’t use uranium that’s so enriched. They opt for a lower percentage that presents less danger.
About the other reactors that are highly enriched, Lyman said:
“The (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) reactor, and a (university) reactor in Missouri, both still use highly enriched uranium. The Department of Energy would like those reactors to change the way they operate, so they don’t have to use bomb material anymore. But it’s technically hard, it costs a lot of money, and there’s resistance.”
Watch this video to learn more about Kodak’s uranium.
Feature Image Source: Screenshot Via Twitter.