The Oklo Fossil Fission Reactors Feature Summary

Type:
Physics in Your World
Title:
The Oklo Fossil Fission Reactors
Description:
This photo shows part of a natural nuclear reactor-- an underground uranium deposit where a chain reaction occurred spontaneously. In fact, such a natural reactor was predicted, beginning in 1956, and then discovered in 1972.

To find the reactor, physicists search for a deposit of uranium with a slightly lower concentration of U-235 than is found elsewhere on Earth. This U-235 deficit would be caused by the chain reaction of a small fraction of the U-235 nuclei. To learn more, visit The Oklo Fossil Fission Reactors and also this Astronomy Picture of the Day page.
Image:
image credit: F. Gauthier-Lafaye; <a href="http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap050220.html" target="_blank">image source</a>; <a href="http://www.compadre.org/Informal/images/features/Oklo-natural-reactor-large.jpg" target="_blank">larger image</a>
image credit: F. Gauthier-Lafaye; image source; larger image
Image URL:
http://www.compadre.org/Informal/images/features/Oklo-natural-reactor-large.jpg
Featured:
July 1, 2012 - July 16, 2012