2014 journal article
Nuclear Data and the Oklo Natural Nuclear Reactors
NUCLEAR DATA SHEETS, 118, 585–587.
Data from the Oklo natural nuclear reactors have enabled some of the most sensitive terrestrial tests of time variation of dimensionless fundamental constants. The constraints on variation of αEM, the fine structure constant are particular good, but depend on the reliability of the nuclear data, and on the reliability of the modeling of the reactor environment. We briefly review the history of these tests and discuss our recent work in 1) attempting to better bound the temperatures at which the reactors operated, 2) investigating whether the γ-ray fluxes in the reactors could have contributed to changing lutetium isotopic abundances and 3) determining whether lanthanum isotopic data could provide an alternate estimate of the neutron fluence.