Ancient African Nuclear Reactors

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by wet1, Oct 16, 2002.

  1. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member


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    Oklo: Ancient African Nuclear Reactors
    Credit & Copyright: Robert D. Loss, WAISRC

    The remnants of nuclear reactors nearly two billion years old were found in the 1970s in Africa. These reactors are thought to have occurred naturally. No natural reactors exist today, as the relative density of fissile uranium has now decayed below that needed for a sustainable reaction. Pictured above is Fossil Reactor 15, located in Oklo, Gabon. Uranium oxide remains are visible as the yellowish rock. Oklo by-products are being used today to probe the stability of the fundamental constants over cosmological time-scales and to develop more effective means for disposing of human-manufactured nuclear waste.
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  3. spookz Banned Banned

    assuming a working one is found,what uses would it have?

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  5. CounslerCoffee Registered Senior Member

    assuming a working one is found,what uses would it have?

    It might show how nature gets rid of nuclear waste in a nonharmful way.
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  7. Emfuser Registered Senior Member

    Ah yes the Oklo reactors. Quite fascinating how that occured naturally.

    It'd be nice if we were finding natural Uranium at the enrichment percentage that ore was at when the reactor went critical. Nuclear power would be even cheaper.
  8. postoak Registered Senior Member

    I don't these natural nuclear reactors work any differently than the manmade kind. So, presumably the waste is still at the site.
  9. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

    I can't think of any uses that would be feasiable. It would be hard to get near a working reactor, natural or not, to modify it for use. Raditation would probably ensure that whoever modified it would not be alive to enjoy the benefits. You might be able to employ some sort of robotic help but at present that would be limited.

    The only other thing would be a lowering of the worlds supply of uranium. Not necessarily a good thing.
  10. Clockwood You Forgot Poland Registered Senior Member

    If this was a few hundred years ago someone would just use slaves. Now we have hired immagrant workers.

    I am being sarcastic so don't flame me.
  11. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

  12. Edufer Tired warrior Registered Senior Member

    Hello, gentlemen! Long time has passed since my postings here. Will be back again about the end of the month. Did you miss me?

    About Oklo, there seems to be no radiation left in the residues, as the man standing in the "reactor" wears no protective clothing, as we used to do when I worked at Embalse, (Córdoba, Argentina) Nuclear plant. I mean, only when the reactor was <u>working</u>, because when it was in maintenance we entered near the core (Calandria) wearing only our shirts.

    The problem of nuclear waste is only a political one, as the technical side of the issue has long been solved. I have not too much time for going right now into details, but you should search on the sites of the Argonne National Laboratory (and Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, etc) and find the facts.

    Dr. Carlo Rubbia, in Euratom (Europe) has a nice way of eliminating about 96% of the radioactivity storing it in about 4% of the original volume, using the concentrated material as fuel for the new generations of fast breeders. It is almost the same way the Argonne lab has proposed to do, but the resistance from environmental ONGs has stopped all efforts to finish with the problem. (They would be killing the Hen of the Golden Eggs!).

    See you soon!

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