The Gabon Republic in Africa is rich in uranium. In 1972, A French factory imported uranium ore from Oklo, Gabon, and found to its surprise that the uranium had already been extracted.
Natural uranium contains 0.7 percent of uranium-235 (U-235), the fissionable isotope contained in nuclear fuel, but the uranium in Oklo contained less than 0.3 percent of uranium-235.
Scientists around the world gathered in Gabon to explore this phenomenon. They found that the site where the uranium was found is a highly technical underground nuclear reactor beyond the capabilities of our present scientific knowledge. This nuclear reactor came into being 1.8 billion years ago and was operational for about 500,000 years.
Scientists investigated the uranium mine and the results were made public at a conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Scientists found traces of fission products and fuel waste at various locations within the mine area.
Compared with this huge nuclear reactor, our current nuclear reactors are far less impressive. Studies indicate that the uranium mine’s nuclear reactor was several miles in length. However, for such a huge nuclear reactor, the thermal impact to its environment was limited to 40 meters (about 131 feet) on all sides. Even more astonishing, the radioactive waste materials have still not migrated outside the mine site. They are held in place by the surrounding geology.
Faced with these findings, scientists consider the mine to be a “naturally occurring” nuclear reactor.
However, Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg, former head of the United States Atomic Energy Commission and Nobel Prize winner for his work in the synthesis of heavy elements, pointed out that for uranium to “burn” in a reaction, conditions must be exactly right. For example, the water involved in the nuclear reaction must be extremely pure. Even a few parts per million of contaminant will “poison” the reaction, bringing it to a halt. The problem is that no water that pure exists naturally anywhere in the world.
Besides, several specialists in reactor engineering remarked that at no time in the geologically estimated history of the Oklo deposits was the uranium ore rich enough in U-235 for a natural reaction to have taken place.
Even when the deposits were first formed, because of the slow rate of radioactive disintegration of U-235, the fissionable material would have constituted only 3 percent of the deposits—far too low a level for a nuclear reaction. Yet a reaction did take place, suggesting that the original uranium was far richer in U-235 than a natural formation could have been.
If nature was not responsible, then the reaction must have been produced artificially. Is it possible that the Oklo uranium is the residue of an antediluvian reactor from a prehistoric civilization? It is probable that two billion years ago there was an advanced civilization in Oklo that was technologically superior to today’s civilization.
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