A French nuclear power plant engineer examined a uranium sample from Gabon’s Oklo mine and identified the U235 isotope, which…

 

A French nuclear power plant engineer examined a uranium sample from Gabon’s Oklo mine and identified the U235 isotope, which can sustain a nuclear reaction.

Physicists from across the world met in Gabon to study what was going on in the Oklo mine, where they discovered a natural-looking nuclear reactor under the surface.

According to experts, the reactor began 2 billion years ago and has been in operation for 500,000 years. During a conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency, these findings were made public.

Near the mine, scientists conducting research in Oklahoma discovered fission and nuclear waste residues. The fact that plutonium was created via a nuclear process that self-regulated over a lengthy period of time is amazing.

Scientists think the mine was a natural reactor, and that water tempered the nuclear reaction, much like graphite and rhodium bars do in modern nuclear reactors to prevent them from exploding.

Because U235 isotopes only form through uranium enrichment activities, not natural processes, the major question is who was able to enrich uranium over 2 billion years ago.