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Natural Reactors (Second Try)
I've been having those mail gremlins again! Please forgive me for the repost
if it indeed did get to the list the first time!
Hey gang. Let's not be to anthro-centric here! Mother nature has been making
nuclear reactors for eons. Stars are just big fusion reactors but there are
naturally occuring nuclear reactors on the earth. Consider
some of the enormous uranium deposits of Africa. Even though U235 constitutes
0.76% of the total Uranium present, large deposits of billions of tons can
concentrate enough fissionable material to go critical. Evidence for this
comes from Oklo, Gabon during the middle Precambrian ca 1950 Ma! The
following reference is centered on the finding of organic material and
kerogen in some of the _9_ Natural reactors at Oklo but discusses some
numbers such as energy yield, estmated mass of Uranium etc.
Nagy, B. and seven others, 1991. Organic matter and containment of uranium
and fissionogenic isotopes at the Oklo natural reactors. Nature, v.354, 12
I have also read of the finding of transuranic elements (Np and Pu) in still
other uranium deposits the presence which can only be explained by natural
fission, en masse.
Thomas R. Lipka