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A peoples guide to our nuclear planet

Ron Gester
Science Council for Global Initiatives, SCGI,

Earth is a nuclear planet … and nuclear energy is essential for our existence on Earth.

Without Earth's molten core, life as we know it would not exist. Earth is protected from extreme levels of cosmic and solar radiation by a geomagnetic field generated by the rotation of Earth’s molten core. It rotates because of a combination of convection, due to heat, and Earth's rotation. The heat is generated in part from the radioactive decay of uranium, thorium, and potassium isotopes. [Johnston, 2011] This heat also contributes to convection in the mantle which drives plate tectonics and continental drift. Nuclear energy is a natural and essential force on Earth. Nuclear fission reactors have occurred naturally in Earth’s geologic past. Rock formations in Oklo, Gabon, W. Africa reveal that self-sustaining nuclear reactions ran in these formations for hundreds of thousands of years starting about 1.7 billion years ago.