----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2003 3:07
Subject: RE: [cdn-nucl-l] Very
interesting but politically incorrect: " Nuclear Heart of the Earth " CNS-SP
alternative explanation for high He3/He4 ratios......
The seminar was very interesting and
As Dr. Marvin Herndon pointed out, there are many
phenomena about the geology of the Earth that point to the possibility of a
sustained, fission reaction going on, way down below, at a variable
There is significant energy still being produced
(to drive volcanoes, earthquakes, continental drift, etc.) -- after 4.5
billion years. Alpha-decay of uranium and thorium could produce this
energy, which would be consistent with the helium-4 observed. But there
is a lot of helium-3 too, which could be evidence of tertiary fission, with
the tritium fission product decaying to helium-3 and diffusing to the
surface. The ratio of helium-3 to helium-4 is different in different
places around the globe.
Alpha decay would cause a slowly-changing rate of
energy production, but there is evidence that the magnetic poles moved,
disappeared, flipped ..., which suggests there have been rapid changes in
the rate of the energy production, which is driving the generator of the
Earth's magnetic field. There is also the issue of the rate of
U-235 burnup and the suggestion of significant conversion of U-238 into
plutonium (breeding). Similarly, there may be conversion of thorium
into U-233 and its fission.
There was discussion about the other planets,
especially Jupiter, which seems to be a star that didn't quite make it.
It is very distant from the Sun, yet there evidence of significant activity
going on, after 4.5 billion years! What is the source of the energy that
is driving this activity?
The very interesting thing about all these
questions/discussions is that they seem to be politically incorrect. Dr.
Herndon encounters a great deal of resistance in technical journals and
from many scientists when he presents these ideas. It seems to be
sacrilegious to write or talk about the possibility of a natural nuclear
(fission) reactor -- a breeder reactor no less! -- deep inside the
Earth. Part of the problem is that Dr. Herndon's knowledge of nuclear
physics and nuclear reactor design is superficial, although he seems to be
quite authoritative on matters of geology and seismic technology. He
would need to team up with a good nuclear physicist, but I suspect that no one
wants to be openly associated with an idea that seems to be "hokey" and
There was a time when imaginative
scientists, like George Gamov, wrote about new, far out ideas, and
everyone, including good scientists, really appreciated them. It
seems that the times have changed.
It's good that the CNS takes initiatives to
invite brave, determined scientists to its meetings and listens to and
discusses their ideas.