Des analogues naturels de sites de stockage de déchets nucléaires vieux de 2 milliards d'années : les réacteurs de fission nucléaire naturels du Gabon (Afrique)
Two billion years ago, the increase of oxygen in atmosphere and the high 235U/ 238U uranium ratio (>3%) made possible the occurrence of natural nuclear reactors on Earth. These reactors are considered to be a good natural analogue for nuclear waste disposal. Their preservation during such a long period of time is mainly due to the geological stability of the site, the occurrence of clays surrounding the reactors and acting as an impermeable shield, and the occurrence of organic matter that maintained the environment in reducing conditions, favourable for the stability of uraninite. Hydrogeochemical studies and modelling have shown the complexity of the geochemical system at Oklo and Bangombé (Gabon) and the lack of precise data about uranium and fission products retention and migration mechanisms in geological environments. To cite this article: F. Gauthier-Lafaye, C. R. Physique 3 (2002) 839-849.