As Kodak stumbles through its bankruptcy, all sorts of weird facts are surfacing, like the news that the company had its own nuclear reactor, producing weapons-grade isotopes. It was installed for neutron imaging experiments in 1974, and while the feds were duly notified, it doesn't look like there was ever a public announcement -- nor was there any notice given to the local firefighters who'd have turned up if anything ever went wrong. If only I'd known about this when writing Makers (which concerns itself with hedge fundies who buy up and strip down Kodak and Duracell), think of the subplots I could have written!
From the Democrat and Chronicle piece by Steve Orr:
Company spokesman Christopher Veronda said he could find no record that Kodak ever made a public announcement of the facility. He also wasn’t sure whether the company had ever notified local police, fire or hazardous-materials officials.
Current city of Rochester officials, whose personnel might have been summoned to Building 82 had an untoward incident occurred, said they were in the dark. Monroe County officials did not provide comment despite several requests.
The Democrat and Chronicle learned of the facility when an employee happened to mention it to a reporter a few months ago.
The recent silence was by design. Detailed information about nuclear power plants and other entities with radioactive material has been restricted since the 2001 terrorist attacks.
(Image: Nuclear Regulatory Commission)
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.