. . . I notice Memory Alpha has the same location for the pod as the remastered effects (which showed the gaping port from which the pod was jettisoned). Would be curious where they got that info.
According to Geoffrey Mandel's U.S.S. Enterprise Officer's Manual
from 1980, the ion pod is the little “nipple” in the middle of the lower sensor dome.
I suppose it makes as much sense as putting it near the aft end of the engineering hull.