Earth's core heating

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Newmoon
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Earth's core heating

Post by Newmoon »

I've read that the core of the Earth is so hot partly because of heating by heavy radioactive elements that sunk to the core and concentrated as it formed, creating a kind of natural nuclear reactor. If the material that the Earth formed from happened to have a higher proportion of these radioactive elements then could it have literally exploded if they had reached a 'critical mass' at some point? Thanks.
M54
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Re: Earth's core heating

Post by M54 »

The radioactives are well spread out so would not get concentrated enough to go bang.
Even if it somehow occurred and sufficent atoms formed a group then you could only get to one critical mass and so have one atomic explosion - that will not cause much damage, just look at the many we have exploded over the years.

You cannot get a mass bigger then enough for one as once that single critical mass is reached you get a bang and will not get a bigger mass. You cannot get twice the critical mass at one place as it will have gone critical earlier at one critical mass and made a bang then.
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