The Oklo Fossil Fission Reactors Feature Summary

Physics in Your World
The Oklo Fossil Fission Reactors
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 credit: F. Gauthier-Lafaye; <a href="" target="_blank">image source</a>; <a href="" target="_blank">larger image</a>
image credit: F. Gauthier-Lafaye; image source; larger image
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July 1, 2012 - July 16, 2012