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UnEasyshare: Kodak's now-defunct, Rochester-based nuclear reactor


Ready for this unsettling Kodak moment? It seems the one-time imaging powerhouse held a decades-long secret deep in a bunker below Building 82 on its Rochester campus. The now vacant facility, a concrete-shielded chamber built in 1974, was once home to a californium neutron flux multiplier (CFX) or, in layman's terms, a small nuclear reactor as recently as six years ago. Certainly, that's not the technology one would normally associate with an outfit built on the foundations of photography, but according to recently released documents, its three and a half pound store of enriched uranium was used primarily for neutron radiography -- an imaging technique -- and chemical purity testing. The site's long been shut down and the radioactive material in question carted off with federal oversight, but for denizens of that upstate New York territory, alarming news of the reactor's existence has only just surfaced. Before you cast Kodak the evil side eye, bear in mind post-9/11 policies forbade the company from making the whereabouts of its small reactor widely known, though earlier scientific studies did make reference to the CFX's existence. It's an eye-opening glimpse into the esoteric machinations of private industry and the deadly dangers that lurk below your feet.

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