A contract was awarded in the 1970s to mine uranium ore at the Oklo Uranium Mines in Gabon. However, after the initial samples were collected and submitted to the Soviet Company, the uranium content did not meet the specified standards; the quality was poor, and some key ingredients were missing.
According to radioactivity.eu.com, the investors dispatched a team of experts to investigate the disparity between the geological history of the site and the reality on the ground.
The scientists discovered a significant difference in isotope content in different sections of the uranium content collected. The researchers were perplexed by the findings because isotope content on the ground was expected to be uniform in ore, as is typical of uranium. However, this was not the case.
Because of the difference in the quality of the uranium, the uranium-235 isotope dissolved faster than the uranium-238 isotope. It was discovered that the uranium at the Oklo site could function as a natural reactor. This was present in the earth two billion years ago.
Its uranium content was estimated to be 3.5 percent of the uranium-235 isotope, enough to enrich a modern nuclear reactor. The scientists also discovered 16 natural reactors that had been active at the Oklo site for hundreds of thousands of years.
The explanation was that the unexplained natural reactor at the site was made possible by the fissile uranium-235, which is extremely rich for modern nuclear reactors. The researchers discovered that the chemical evolution at the site was a 100,000-year-long process influenced by fire. The Oklo site incident is thought to be a rare natural phenomenon in which residues from the earth’s crust were converted into a natural reactor.
According to the researchers, their site analysis revealed that radioactive waste is active in the Oklo area, and the uranium ore has a record of negative 235 isotope content. They explained that they studied the movement of radioactive elements in the soil for a long time before reaching their conclusion.
However, they indicated that the movement of radioactivity at the Oklo site has been slow rather than fast. They discovered that the phosphates allowed radioactivity to be retained in the ground.
They were intrigued by how the radioactive elements in the uranium ore were contained in the environment. It used boiling water produced by the natural reactor to remove radioactive material from the ground and pollute the environment.
According to the researchers, it is difficult to determine whether such a radioactivity cleaning event occurred at the site. Fossil reactors have been underground for over two billion years with no ill effects.