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Patrick

Patrick is a mid-40 year old geek with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master's degree in Information Systems. Nothing he says here has anything to do with the official position of his employer or any other institution.

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45 Responses

  1. Avatar Rose says:

    Although it was suspicious when the CEO kept tenting his fingers and cackling.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    This bring to mind the famous story of the Radioactive Boy ScoutReport

  3. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Also, it seems somewhat apropos, since uranium was first discovered to be radioactive (by Henri Becquerel, in 1986) when photographic plates stored nearby to it became fogged.Report

  4. Avatar Will Truman says:

    I find this thought horrifying, yet fitting. Horrifying, insofar as my exposure (get it?) to Kodak has suggested that they should not be trusted with such a thing. Fitting, because I have often said they have the most toxic (get it?) business culture of any company I have worked with a company doing business with.

    (Vegas attendees can get the whole story, if anyone remembers to ask.)Report

  5. Avatar Kazzy says:

    I would assume such a thing would be quite valuable. Why not sell it to avoid bankruptcy?Report

  6. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    High-energy, high-flux radiation sources are also useful for simulating the space environment. This can be useful if you produce large amounts of film for spy satellites.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      There is a distinction between enriched uranium and weapons-grade (highly enriched) uranium. I was ready to pooh-pooh the story as having confused the two, but its source specifically says “highly-enriched”.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe says:

        It uses the terms interchangeably though, and I’m still not sure if the CFX actually needs that much U-235 to get the SCM required. (I mean, it was technically not a ‘reactor’ either, more of an atomic pile)Report

      • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto says:

        Yeah, this is 90someodd percent U-235.

        Still not enough for critical mass, though.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe says:

          Well, almost any amount of U-235 can be a critical mass if you have the right geometry and density. (and low enough poisons etc). But, seriously, thanks for the clarificationReport

      • Avatar DensityDuck says:

        Note that in Cold War terms, the “space environment” may include large doses of high-energy neutrons produced by Soviet counterspace warheads.Report

  7. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    Clearly, this is because both Argus and Nikon were known to have already possessed weapons grade uranium. Detente as a nuclear deterrent is a proven strategy to prevent any one camera manufacturer from using the weapons grade uranium.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      You’re the CEO of Kodak, which has been making giant advances in photography ever since the 19th century You’re in receivership, and over there these fishing kids are getting a billion dollars for putting cute borders around snapshots. Tell me you wouldn’t have been tempted.Report

  8. Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto says:

    I was part of a research project on the civilian uses of HEU last year. Essentially the likelihood is that the HEU was used for simulation purposes like space.

    The use of HEU for this sort of application was pretty popular in the 60s and 70s and governments have been a bit slow to phase this stuff out.

    Also 3.5lbs isn’t really significant.Report

    • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto says:

      That or it was a critical assembly. (That’s pretty likely. The term “reactor” is a bit imprecise.)Report

      • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto says:

        Dug up a bit on their decomissioning plan for the facility:

        EKC Research Facility, Building 82 was established in 1966 to provide a dedicated
        research and development facility for conducting chemical and radiological analyses, doing
        small quantity bench and batch scale research and development studies on manufacturing
        processes, and to investigate new chemicals of interest to the Corporation’s various
        operating divisions. In this facility, EKC conducted R&D work utilizing the CFX to
        investigate various chemical irradiations. Work with enriched uranium fuel plates in the
        CFX required that EKC have a Special Nuclear Materials license.

        Report

        • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto says:

          From what I can tell the facility was actually decommissioned in 2006, and the sensitive materials were moved to holding facilities operated by DoE…essentially the people who are making a fuss about this don’t know wtf they’re talking about…again.Report

  9. Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto says:

    http://www.democratandchronicle.com/assets/pdf/A2189207511.pdf

    Is the decommissioning plan, in case anyone’s interested in reading it.Report

  10. Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto says:

    In short: Stupidly sensationalistic headline. The HEU isn’t there anymore, it’s 1/5th of a critical mass required to set off anything dangerous and they had a DOE and state of New York license for this stuff.Report

  11. Avatar Miss Mary says:

    I thought everyone had one of those in their basement… huh.Report

  12. MIT has one right in the heart of Boston/Cambridge.

    Honestly, I’m not all that surprised: (1) A lot of Japanese research output is corporate. (2) We’re talking about the Gawker Media Network here, although I’ve been digging their Girls summaries and more or less everything written by a certain former dictator of Zaire.Report

  13. Avatar Kimmi says:

    you should see what they’ve got under DC.

    you all remember when we almost lost Detroit?Report