Earth's Natural Nuclear Reactor

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Pine_net, Aug 1, 2002.

  1. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    Don't be such a rude dishonest hack.
     
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  3. DwayneD.L.Rabon Registered Senior Member

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    Well, I would say that..... The earth has a lot of radioactive decay and ionzation occuring within its depth.
    Radioactive decay appears to be not as common as ionzation, Large heavy elements like Uranium decay rather quickly within the earth and never reach the earths core, or even the half mark of the earths radius. Uranium and other heavy elements are earth crust elements.
    The earth could appear radioactive at give times depending on the gravitional compression of the solar system, and mass events of radioactive decay can also occur, mainly occuring in the upper earth and crust.

    Uranium comprises about 0.000013239 percent of the earth.

    Most elements above Silicon would decay long before they reach the earths core. So the conditions of radioactive decay can actually vary.


    DwayneD.L.Rabon
     
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  5. Pronatalist Registered Senior Member

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    Actually, the "planetary balance" is not so fragile, and not at all easy to alter. While the heat within the planet is significant enough to explain for seismic activity and vocanos I think, it doesn't even begin to have hardly any effect upon the climate temperature. Any heat leaking to the surface, is miniscue compared to all the heat from the sun, and how quickly heat radiates away into outer space, especially at night where it's more noticable in temperature drop without the sun currently compensating.

    A decline of radioactive decay, presumed from depleting mining uranium, just is not going to make any difference, in the temperature of the planet.

    But an increasingly populous and modern world, needs a steady and abundant and affordable flow of electricity, for humans to prosper. Not many people appear particularly eager to go back to the old "hard work" days of the horse-and-buggy, and of using animals and slaves to do our work for us. And refrigerators just won't keep our food cold, and electric cookstoves cook, and electric motor powered elevators take us to our desired floor, without electricity.

    So we had best be telling those corporate fatties, or whoever it is we can get to do it, to keep mining that uranium, keep drilling that oil, keep digging that coal, whatever it is we need to keep our growing cities running smoothly.
     
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  7. Cthuna Registered Member

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    Dwayne,

    WHAT makes you so certain that Uranium is primarily a crust element and not present in the mantle or even the Earths core???

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    But the bigger question is: What heats the Earth's interior. I have read in multiple sources about the source of the Earths internal heat as the result of natural radioactivity. BTW, Uranium actually DOES have a very long lived isotope, which would be U-238. There is also the even longer lived Thorium-232 isotope present in the mantle. But here's the deal: Provided that radioactivity heats the Earth, I cant help but ask the question as to what other natural processes exist that can convert radioactivity into heat other than Fission? What I suspect is that the fission takes place in the lower layers of the mantle and the Earths solid Iron/Nickel core acts as a neutron absorber.
     
  8. Pine_net Chaos Product Registered Senior Member

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    Dark Matter at the center of the earth powering the geomagnetic field. I know this is a Zombie thread but still a good read. The nuclear heart of the earth beats on and on. Maybe this is how Mars died.
     
  9. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

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    This is a science section so your speculation about dark matter is not appropriate.
     
  10. Pine_net Chaos Product Registered Senior Member

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    Science is as science does. Speculation is a large part of my scientific process. Your sectional analysis is not appropriate. If I speculate something to be true and no one else has a better truth or explanation, what is that called? Speculation becomes scientific fact all the time.
     
  11. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    6,624
    The only "scientific facts" are reproducible observations of nature. No theory is a fact.

    A scientific hypothesis, which is what you claim to be making here, needs to predict some observation that can be put to the test. What would you predict we should be able to observe, in order to validate your hypothesis? Bear in mind that dark matter exerts a gravitational pull, so if you are right, there should be smaller amounts of the elements present in the Earth than are commonly thought to be present. How would you square this with the models we have for the earth's magnetism, say, or the convection we observe in the mantle?
     
  12. Pine_net Chaos Product Registered Senior Member

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    Traces of He-3 and He-4 exist in volcanic basalt. Helium 4 is not a surprise; it comes from the natural decay of uranium and thorium. No fission need be involved. But helium 3 is a big surprise. It's a fission by-product.

    Antineutrino's can also be observed streaming out from the Earths core.
     
  13. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

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    9,998
    Thanks Forrest.
    Well it's not a large part of the real scientific process.
    Why?
    A miracle.
    Like what?
     
  14. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

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    9,998
    None of which has anything to do with your unfounded speculation about dark matter.
     
  15. Pine_net Chaos Product Registered Senior Member

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    483
    Dark matter is exotic in nature and is not readily explained. I speculate that planets that still emit a strong magnetic field have, at their core, natural nuclear reactors. The term dark matter should be exchanged with exotic active geothermal reactors. Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury, Uranus, and Neptune may have dark matter at their cores as well. Pythagoras speculated that the earth may possibly be round. Proved later by Magellan who found this to be true.
     
  16. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    6,624
    No it was Eratosthenes who calculated the circumference of the Earth, in about 200BC. Educated people have known it was spherical ever since, and of course it would have been fairly evident to sailors that it was at least curved, due to the behaviour of objects close to the horizon.
     
  17. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    I don't usually reply to my own quote, but in the light of Pine_net resurrecting his old thread, I thought I'd repeat what I wrote then. I'm still looking for the Gold meteorite. I first speculated about the planetary cores circa 1996, and it seems plausible that all of the planets (that experienced gravitational differentiation, such as large M-type asteroids (such as 16-Psyche) which are the remaining cores of planets that got whittled down over time: ) have dense cores of Uranium, Thorium, etc. inside of (in the center of) the Iron cores. In another thread I've speculated that inner planets (now having very little gaseous component), lost their outer blankets of H/H2 as it as eroded over time by UV from our suns formation, as well as by then-nearby stars formed during out star formation process, but now since drifted away. This left the heavier gases behind on planets and dwarf planets, such as NH3, CO2, H2O, etc. which also left the inner planets due to solar output, unless the gravity was large enough to retain the heavier gases, such as on Earth.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  18. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

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    9,998
    The evidence shows you are incorrect.
    Since they are 2 completely different things they should not have the same name.
    Unevidenced wild assed conjecture.
    The ancients hypothesized that the earth was a sphere based on observations and evidence.

    Stop just making stuff up.
     
  19. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    12,806
    Sounds like unfounded speculation. In engineering terms a WAG (wild ass guess.) Although most WAGs are based on something; your theory is not.
    After a lot of work, research and verification.
     
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  20. river

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    Its not a Nuclear reaction , fission bomb , etc.

    It is the decay of nuclear material .

    Think Nuclear reactors , heat is created from fission dynamics . This dynamic can't be stopped on a dime . Hence the importance of a continuence coolant . Water .

    The decay of nuclear material provides an enormous amount of heat .
     
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  21. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, the very densest materials should settle 'at the bottom', which in this case is the very center of the earth's core. Uranium and Gold have similar densities (about 19), but I suspect there is more Uranium. In any event, there should be some occasional fission of both isotopes (U-238 and U-235), with the U-235 happening more frequently. Whether this produces more energy, or significantly less energy, than the radioactive decay chain energy production, which is well known and independent of the amount of material, is the question.

    On our planet's surface, Uranium is never present in amounts greater than a few meters in thickness. Since the neutrons from fission (both lesser amounts of U-238 and far greater amounts of U-235) are very fast when produced and not very good at fissioning Uranium atoms, they need to slow way down in order to be good at fissioning. (This might seem counter-intuitive to some, but in nuclear parlance, the cross-section for fission increases as the speed of the fissioning neutron decreases.)

    On our surface, to get around this obstacle and establish a continuous fission reaction, we add materials that will make the speeds of the neutrons more moderate (slower, down to thermal speeds), called moderators. Water is a common one, and can double as a heat-extractor. Carbon also works.

    In the center of the earth, if there is a large bolus of Uranium, simply the long distance from side to side of the bolus (miles?) could serve to moderate fast neutrons into slow ones. But it is not known if there is a large abundance of poisons in the bolus that would greatly slow or stop the reaction completely.
     
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  22. river

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    9,793
    As of yet , dark matter is yet to be proven .

    How does gravity " pull " anything ?
     
  23. ajanta Registered Senior Member

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    About possible generation of heat in Earth’s inner core.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/srep37740
     

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