It’s fashionable among pseudo-progressives to be rabidly anti-nuclear, pleasing hydrocarbon tyrants and the fossil fuel lobby. Much better to burn coal, and frack rocks, they say, and they smoke pot, to accelerate the waning of their brain power. Who are those ingrates? Assuredly ignorant of the fact that all this coal they love so much was generated thanks to… nuclear power! Let me explain. It’s called science.

It is very likely that there will be much more habitable worlds in the galaxy than worlds with even the simplest animals having evolved there. Life is fragile, our life on Earth had many close calls. Moreover Earth is characterized by many very special traits: a large, stabilizing moon, a vast liquid ocean, a strong magnetic field shielding Earth surface with its magnetic armor, plate tectonics, volcanoes, etc… I argued this at length in:

All these phenomena come from just one cause: the CENTRAL EARTH FISSION NUCLEAR REACTOR. It certainly played a crucial role in the rise of life, as did fission reactors all over and around.

Where Do You Think All This Magma Comes From? Nuclear Fission!

Where Do You Think All This Magma Comes From? Nuclear Fission!

The Core Nuclear Reactor turns much of the mass of the planet into a giant iron ocean below our feet.

The electromagnet comes from a dynamo effect caused by a ferociously dynamic iron ocean rotating furiously about… Said ocean is melted by the central nuclear fission reactor at the core of Earth, which is as hot as the sun’s surface.

I long had this theory, and made terrible enemies in geophysics, promulgating it more than a decade ago (I’m not a geophysicist, so I did belong to that church; to make matters worse, my arguments, if true, implied that my math and physics were better… and they were!). Now, though, the theory I long defended with relish, is basically proven.

How? Nuclear fission generates neutrinos, and we have neutrino detectors. The proven flux of neutrino from the core corresponds to fission generating more than half the Earth’s heat flux.

Most of it comes from Uranium 238 and Thorium 232 fission. Ten percent of the heat flux also comes from radioactive Potassium 40 decay.

None of this is surprising: natural nuclear fission reactors existed in Africa up to about a billion years ago, on the surface. They self-moderated with heat, steam, water flow. When French geologists discovered this, the world was astounded.

The iron ocean heated by giant nuke below our feet is the difference of Earth with Venus. Venus is within the habitable zone, just barely, but it lost its water, while its atmosphere got stuffed with CO2, generating a ferocious greenhouse, hot enough to melt lead.

Probes sent there held at most one hour. Why all this CO2? Why not the same on Earth? Because on Earth the C of CO2 is sent by plate tectonics deep inside. Venus does not seem to have plate tectonics. So the C stays in the atmosphere.

Having no nuke inside, Venus got no furious iron ocean, hence no planet-wide electromagnet, hence no magnetic field, hence lost the H2O in its atmosphere: it was robbed by the solar wind. Something similar happened to Mars: no nuke, no iron ocean, no dynamo, no magnetosphere, loss of atmosphere from solar wind, desiccation, loss of greenhouse, etc.

The iron ocean heated by a giant nuke is the difference between Earth and Venus.

Having no nuke inside, Venus got no furious iron ocean, hence no electromagnet, hence no magnetic field, hence lost the H2O in its atmosphere, robbed by the solar wind (hyper velocity protons travelling at 400 kilometers per second from the sun literally knock-off hydrogen atoms into outer space).

Something similar happened to Mars: no nuke, no iron ocean, no dynamo, no magnetosphere, loss of atmosphere from solar wind, desiccation, loss of greenhouse, etc.

Outside of Hollywood scenarios, and publicity hungry scientists, there is no evidence that an impact “almost completely eradicated life on this planet” (see the first comment). But sure it could happen in other systems. The little impact at the end of the Jurassic is much ado about nothing. The Dekkan Traps were the real problem: they caused a dramatic cooling, over millions of years.

Near complete eradication of life happened because of the rise of life itself, when oxygenation meant the loss of the methane greenhouse, and thus the numerous terrible episode of snow ball Earths… Once again recovered from by CO2 building above the ice from overactive volcanoes (see nuclear reactor above).

Near eradication of life also happened probably from hyper giant core volcanism, which tends to happen every 200 million years or so.

This  also shows that, whereas the central nuke monster reactor, the largest known fission reactor in the universe (so far…), gives energy and protection to life, it’s never very far from eradicating it

This idea has been gaining momentum. One may even suspect that it’s a nuke explosion that gave burp to the moon, so to speak… Atomic propelled geysers and hot baths were found extensively in the first billion years of the planet (because radioactivity decays, so there were much more then).

Few planets will be lucky enough to thread a way through these perils. Let alone the fact that we are protected from comets by Jupiter… Although many systems seem to have Jupiters, or super Jupiters, migrating in, towards the central star, destroying all rocky planets in their wake…

All this makes Earth incredibly improbable. Although there are probably many planets we could seed with Earth’s life, few would have anything approaching animals and plants. They will just crawl with methane-friendly bacteria.

It took nearly three billion years of a goldilocks environment for busy bacteria to start creating something approaching the atmosphere we have now… And the sun’s output cooperated, augmenting just so, to keep the planet at perfect incubating temperature

It was a miracle. Enjoy it while it lasts. Glaciers are melting in Antarctica at an ever accelerating pace, baffling specialists… But not conspiratorial catastrophists with enough mettle, such as yours truly.

Conclusion: to sustain long term evolution of life on a planet, one needs the right massive amounts of long lived radionuclides and iron (perhaps with enough power to create a moon). Water is not enough to create an habitable world.

Patrice Aymé

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44 Responses to “LIFE Giving NUCLEAR EARTH Reactor”

  1. BenJamN Says:

    BenJamN in reply to Tyranosopher Jan 13th, 20:37

    There’s no nuclear reactor at the core of the Earth. I think you mean an enormous, elaborate electromagnet. And even when life has been almost completely eradicated on this planet from celestial impacts, it keeps coming back. I suppose fragile is a relative term. You’re right that there are some fairly important characteristics that we have in our system, though.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      See my answer above. It has long been totally obvious that the enormous heat flux of Earth was radioactively driven. Once one has eliminated all alternatives, what’s left is the truth.
      Neutrinos now provides with an independent, direct proof.


    • Gmax Says:

      Benjamin confuses ‘nuclear chain REACTION’, and radioactivity in general


      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Yes. Exactly. However, considering there were natural, chain-reaction reactors on tnhe surface a billion years ago, it’s highly likely that there are chain reactions in the core. Or, more exactly the outer core, where it’s still liquid. The tremendous heat will drive, with density differences, the radioactive products away from each others, bringing a natural moderation…


  2. Paul Handover Says:

    Patrice, Could you explain how it is that Jupiter protects Earth from comets?


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Jupiter has about ten times the diameter of the Earth, and 300 times the mass. Although computer simulations have been inconclusive, supposedly, it’s pretty obvious, at least to me, that Jupiter acts as a giant vacuum cleaner.

      From July 16, 1994, to July 22, 1994, over 21 fragments from the comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 crashed into Jupiter. A close fly-over Jupiter previously had fragmented the comet.

      Fragment G, and two other following impacted releasing 6,000,000 megatons of TNT (600 times the world’s nuclear arsenal). This created giant dark spots over 12,000 km across, temperatures reached 24,000 Kelvins (4 times the surface of the sun).

      Such a collision was probably worse than the legendary myth of the demise of the dinosaurs and company (as I explained in “Super Traps” this is not what happened, mostly).


  3. gmax Says:

    Another politically incorrect, common wisdom smashing story. THE WORST is that’s probably true, we are nukular all over (to speak like W Bush)


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear GMax: my point, indeed, I don’t know if I made it clear enough, is that, to have sustainable life evolving on a planet, one needs the right massive amounts of long lived radionuclides and iron. Not just water.


  4. Patrice Ayme Says:

    More on Jupiter-as-protector:

    Implicit in what I said about Jupiter being our guardian, was the fact that, if such a giant stream of impacts happened so recently, that means they are very frequent (some astronomers claim to have seen some in the past, before telescope photography; plus there was still another last year or so).

    The Jupiter-Earth situation is as if we were sitting around, in a hole, waiting for slow golf balls rolling in, over a period of years, while a giant hole, something like 30,000 times more attractive, wider and deeper (300 times the mass times 100 times the area) was rotating around us every 12 years.

    Very effective as suction/defense mechanism.


  5. Dominique Deux Says:

    When I was in Gabon, I came across a piece in Scientific American which (slightly) boggled my mind. That was long ago and my collection of hard-copy SA has long fed the greenhouse effect. From memory alone, then: it appeared that in the uranium ore deposits then being investigated in the country – France being always on the look for such – a strange phenomenon had been identified: the isotope mix was not right, in that it could be explained only through (long past) nuclear fission – in other terms, a natural nuclear reactor had been working, for untold time, within that ore bed. It had been off for some time, though. The article looked at the possible mechanisms and concluded there was nothing impossible about it – no need to call X Files and report aliens.

    This was at readily attainable depths, nothing to do with an ongoing core-located fission. I have no idea if this was an isolated occurrence. I would suspect it was not.

    Of course hard core Greens will not be convinced – despite the fact that their beloved solar energy (which also contributed to plant life and therefore fossil fuels) is nuclear by nature.

    This does not detract from the need to play safe with the hazards involved in man-made nuclear power – but the religious mindset which sees nuclear energy as evil in essence, because it is contrary to nature, could be given pause. Not that it is in the power of the religious mindset to stop, consider, and think.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      My main thesis, another one to make many friends with, a world first, especially designed to enrage the most rabid pseudo-greens, is that NUCLEAR FISSION IS THE GREAT SECRET OF LIFE ON EARTH.

      Those surface nuclear reactors, at least seven were identified, which are STILL on the surface. They were water moderated, and functioned until their nuclear fuel got exhausted. The Earth is THAT rich in Uranium!

      Anti-nuclear idiots are all confused in all directions. They are like Rabbis rabidly supporting Hitler: there were many of those!
      … More friends on the horizon…


  6. Sallie Reynolds Says:

    What? You mean we are NOT sitting on a turtle sitting on a turtle sitting on a turtle?


  7. Olin Morchiba Says:

    “Dude. We mos def sitting on a nuke reactor. That’s why I double flush”


  8. Alexi Helligar Says:

    The jury is out on the the “stabilizing moon” part. But, yes, the Earth’s active core is more blessing than blight.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Alexi: More than active: radio-active.

      What part do you object to? I’m judge, jury, executioner… The Moon, or the stabilization? Of the stabilization, there is no doubt: look what’s out there, Venus, Mars, Uranus have completely wacko rotations, or axes. And my Moon creation hypothesis involves super hyper fission burp: boooom…


  9. EugenR Says:

    Dear Patrice, i always wondered is the Earth gravitational pressure towards the Earth center sufficient to melt the mantle and the Iron core. It always looked to me strange that after few kilometers of the earth Crust you have already the Mantle in kind of overheated molten state, that needs as to my intuition, (without lo calculate it) a lot of energy. By the way, how is it possible that Venus, almost as big as the Earth has no magnetic core? Is it because of different chemical composition?


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Very good point, Eugen. These people, in their colossal naivety, and their anxiety to cling to the Zeitgeist, are confusing gas giants, which can compress, and heat-up, and a planet made of liquid and solid, which CANNOT COMPRESS!
      It’s Physics 1C (Basic Thermodynamics). Something I have TAUGHT! More than once.

      My theory on Venus is that it had not enough radionuclides. Why? I don’t see giant volcanoes there (although there is high ground, there is not that much). I don’t see Carbon trapping…as plate tectonic would provide with. Actually radar shows no plates.

      Thus no big heat inside. To have a strong magnetic shield one ALSO needs an IRON OCEAN.

      So Venus, which congregated at 100 million kms has a different elemental composition from Earth, that congregated at 150 million. Iron, Thorium and Uranium have much higher densities, and could have made a ring more outward. Earth compensated their higher density by keeping its water… Thanks to the magnetic shield… Indeed Earth is a water planet. Not just in oceans, but throughout the first 600 kilometers


  10. No Understanding, No Empathy | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] the discoveries made on the Moon, I have argued in “Life Giving EARTH NUCLEAR Reactor” that one ought to introduce a new term in the so called Drake equation: a huge fission reactor may […]


  11. duanetilden Says:

    Reblogged this on duanetilden and commented:
    Is planet Earth powered by a Nuclear Reactor at the core?
    “How? Nuclear fission generates neutrinos, and we have neutrino detectors. The proven flux of neutrino from the core corresponds to fission generating more than half the Earth’s heat flux.

    Most of it comes from Uranium 238 and Thorium 232 fission. Ten percent of the heat flux also comes from radioactive Potassium 40 decay.”


  12. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Two million people a year are dying from coal burning alone, according to the WHO. Mercury from coal plants in China is poisoning California. And so on.

    Indoor pollution caused by burning also kills 2 million a year.

    Fukushima was an insanity, and other Japanese reactors exposed to tsunamis (or San Onofre!)are also insanities.

    The giant EPR the author attacks are extremely safe. That’s why they are so expensive. France is building two.

    However clean nuclear tech using completely different methods(Thorium) exist. The waste problem is then much decreased (French reactors burn the waste, by the way, and the French have converted USA nuclear weapons into nuclear FUEL

    Philosophically, we may owe life on Earth to the nuclear reactor at the core of the planet, so the anti-nuclear hysteria is anti-ecological and ingrate.

    The fossil fuel industry wants to burn another 18 trillion tons of coal directly inside the ground (it’s called UCB, Under Ground Burning). One may wonder if some of the anti-nuclear hysteria is not paid by such people.

    BTW, I’m all for solar. But it has its limitations. Merkel’s Germany, who decided to shut down nuclear is now buying coal like crazy to the USA, and… nuclear electricity to France. Moreover, Merkel’s new government has pledged to abandon that strategy… Because it’s obviously not working.


  13. AndreMS Says:

    AndreM5 2014-02-21 07:50
    All I can say is “Wow.” If your math is so good and your theory now proven, perhaps you could provide a PRIMARY peer-reviewed reference rather than just links to your own blog? Pretty please?


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      AndreMS: That particular theory on the Earth Core Nuclear Reactor I suggested to some prestigious geophysicists then at UC Berkeley more than ten years ago. All they did was to get very angry; they claimed, erroneously, that there were proofs against what I said.

      Meanwhile, proofs that I was right surfaced (and it will be incorporated in textbooks soon, if not already the case). My task is to invent ideas, I have no peers. I used to, until I realized, like Feynman, all the “peers” did was to find out who it was political to incorporate in the tribe. Feynman resigned. So did I (at my much more modest scale).

      My ideas have been stolen all over, and, well, that’s very good. In the sense that’s the best I can expect.

      It’s not a “pretty please” world. Sorry. It’s a brutal world, actually a world so brutal not only ideas get stolen. It’s a world so brutal that many self denominated “progressives” don’t mind too much that millions are dying from coal burning, and the biosphere is made to suffer from CO2, Mercury, etc. I find that hypocrisy glaring, and I suspect that this rational failure makes them incapable of progressing where we should (for example against banking and plutocracy).


  14. Moon From Nuclear Explosions? | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] by powerful local explosions that could hurtle water rich rocks in orbit. As I pointed out in “Life Giving Earth Nuclear Reactor”, we (probably) have below our feet the largest fission reactor in the known […]


  15. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Having a massive nuclear fission reactor at the core of the Earth has been crucial to life on Earth. The argument is developed in:

    [Sent to SA; Is Earth’s Life Unique in the Universe?

    To know whether life exists beyond Earth, we must come to terms with our own significance in the universe. Are we uniquely special or merely mediocre?
    Jul 15, 2014 |By Caleb Scharf .]


  16. 40 Billion Earths? Yes & No. | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] giant nuclear reactor have the same origin? This is my provocative question of the day. The Moon, our life giver, could well have formed from giant nuclear explosions, of another of our life givers, what became the nuke at the core. I can already hear herds of […]


  17. Clouds above, and even farther away. | Learning from Dogs Says:

    […] giant nuclear reactor have the same origin? This is my provocative question of the day. The Moon, our life giver, could well have formed from giant nuclear explosions, of another of our life givers, what became the nuke at the core. I can already hear herds of […]


  18. David Ebert Says:

    It is the radioactive decay of nuclei that provides the earth’s core heat, not nuclear fission. These radioactive nuclei were produced in super nova, the remnants of which formed the solar system.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear David: Welcome. Nuclear fission of atomic nuclei is known as “nuclear fission”, for short.
      Radioactive nuclei were either produced by super novae, or in the (proverbial) Big Bang (in the case of light elements such as Hydrogen, Helium, Lithium)

      My proposal that nuclear fission caused Earth’s Core heat was dismissed with scorn more than 20 years ago. However, it’s now viewed as pretty much proven. Jupiter generates heat in a different process (gravitational contraction).


  19. Stellar Flybys: New Way To Life’s Extinction | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] […]


  20. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Sent to Sci-Tech today:

    The nuclear engine at the core of Earth is life sustaining:

    That makes advanced life harboring planet theory significantly more complicated… So there maybe much less planets with advanced life forms than ignoring the importance of a strong magnetic shield leads to believe.


  21. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Of great relevance, again:


  22. Where Is Everybody? | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] why Earth’s advanced biosphere is unique. I go even further. In my opinion, the fact Earth has a radioactive, high density metallic core is crucial. I will reinforce this argument today (in light of just published […]


  23. Could We Colonize Mars? | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] had life and an ocean, for probably at least a billion years. Not having a core nuclear reactor, hence a protecting magnetic field and plate tectonic, Mars lost liquid water, warmth and most of its atmosphere (Venus has the same […]


  24. We Are All Martians | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] Life Giving Nuclear Reactor within Earth protects us with the magnetic field it energizes. The idea is that, otherwise, the atmosphere would […]


  25. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [Sent to Quanta

    A star passing through the Solar System could have disrupted all the outer planets, and certainly the Oort cloud of comets, causing the Late Bombardment of comets (which brought liquid water to the surface). The next such passing by a star inside the Oort cloud is coming in 1.2 million years. Another very small star passed by, just outside the cloud, 80,000 years ago: such events are frequent, geologically speaking .

    The engine of creation of the Earth’s, plate tectonic, liquid iron circulation, and thus magnetic shield, is the colossal, sun-like heat generated by the radioactive core of Earth.

    The radioactive hypothesis at the core sounded like lunacy, I remembered very hot arguments with geophysicists, to whom I would reply: most probably, what else? And why not? Recent studies, using more advanced physics have indeed shown that at least 60% of the heat inside Earth comes from present radioactive processes.

    This life giving radioactivity at the core of our planet, has consequences in exobiology and philosophically : it means indigenous advanced life on an exoplanet requires the planet to be in the habitable zone (liquid water on the surface), and being somehow part of the inner radioactive belt (which tends to gather close to the star). This is not in Drake’s equation, but ought to be.

    As far as a detailed examination is concerned, it is known that natural nuclear reactors operated on the surface a bit more than a billion years ago (that was found in Africa). One can suspect that other inhomogeneities brought even larger subsurface reactors or even explosions, at an earlier date, and could have had an impact on the creation of the Moon.


  26. Contemplating Philosophically Trappist Habitable Planets | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] There are seven Earth size TRAPPIST 1 planets, all rotating fast around a red dwarf. Such stars are the most frequent in the universe. They last a very long time, but they flicker, sometimes emitting enormous amounts of radiation. That means that they may sterilize water-bearing planets around them. There are three such planets around TRAPPIST 1. They may need very powerful magnetic fields to keep their atmospheres (solar storms is how Mars lost its atmosphere, recent studies showed). However that means the planets have to be endowed with even more powerful nuclear reactors than Earth (and that may well be a miracle!) […]


  27. Venus Shows Habitable Super Earths Are Imaginable | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] Indeed, what else? Uranium and the like have more than twice the density of iron (19.1 versus 7.8… g/cm^3). I believe Earth is in what I call the Radioactive Zone. Not just the Water Zone, aka the “Habitable Zone”. According to me, without radioactivity at the core, or a somewhat similar arrangement, indigenous life is not possible.  It’s not just a question of avoiding many cosmic disasters… We need an enormous fission reactor inside… […]


  28. We Are No Dinosaurs: H Bombs Potentially Save Lives, Whereas PC kills | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] Having to use nuclear energy to save ourselves is very good. And ultimately, we need controlled, sustained thermonuclear fusion. If we had it now, the CO2 catastrophe (and many other catastrophes) would be avoided. Nuclear is our friend, if, and only if, well done. […]


  29. Super Earths, Or How The Exponential Function Can Matter | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] life as it is known on Earth. Although I have had reservations about this: I view the presence of a nuclear reactor inside the planet as necessary for life, since it provides with a magnetic shield, and the recycling of the atmosphere through plate […]


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