Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kodak confirms it had weapons-grade uranium in underground lab

(CNN) -- Kodak -- the company known for decades for its cameras and film -- this week confirmed it used weapons-grade uranium in an underground lab in upstate New York for upwards of 30 years.

A company spokesman and a former scientist for the firm say there was not enough material to sustain a nuclear chain reaction.

Former Kodak researcher Albert Filo said the uranium was alloyed with aluminum in plates sealed in sleeves that were not moved for three decades. The amount of fuel was about 3½ pounds, which experts say is less than one-tenth of the amount necessary to make a crude nuclear device.

The alloyed material "could not be readily converted to make a nuclear weapon," said Eastman Kodak spokesman Christopher Veronda. "Disassembling the device and removing these plates was a process that took highly trained experts more than a day to perform."

But advocates for preventing nuclear proliferation say it highlights the risk that terrorists could obtain enough fuel to build a nuclear device. Read More