Friday, June 8, 2007


I've been getting ready for my big debut, collecting holocaust pictures, rape photos from Darfur, disemboweled jihad victims last videos, and other such stuff, for the moment when my right hand works again. Using my left hand exclusively has cut way down on certain personal activities I favor (but cannot depict here), and so its No-Pleasure-Porkie this week, at least.

However, my new makeup style is coming along grandly, as I have absolutely re-created that "Night of the Living Dead" ambience, using surprisingly little white makeup! Who would have thunk a few months ago that my complexion would become so NATURALLY sallow, that I could play a zombie, and actually convince eveyone I was!

Be that as it may, I stand ready to embark on MY FIRST TRUE HORROR FLIK! I intend to call it "Night of the Living Dead Babies", and feature lots of dead stuff, including some dolls I own, but never wanted anybody to know about before! You see the magic of the horror movie genre, is that I can trot out my little dollie collection, and dress them up, and film them being horribly desecrated, and act as if its all for the movie!

That is SO FUN !!!!

I knew those dolls would come in handy! I told wifey to SHUT UP about them long ago, and go get her own damn dolls! She is SO MEAN!

I just may desecrate HER in amongst my dollie desecrations JUST TO LET HER KNOW WHO SHE IS DEALING WITH !!!!!

Oh, and just to get all that red-hot tag coverage, let me just throw in these two words, to spam my way to fame and gory glory.... Ready ?? Here goes:... INDIAN POINT

See ya!


Friday, May 25, 2007

green nuclear butterly hosts stars

Bela Lugosi Tours Porgie's House

Bela Lugosi, the cocaine-addicted dead star of 50 dracula movies and one porn flik, toured Porgie Pukeslinger's house, at 351 Dyckman Street, Pigskill, along with Elvira, star of many B-grade soft-core potboilers of the 1950's. Both dead stars expressed amazement at how suited for dead people Porgie's house was. "Gee whiz", expressed the rotting vampire star, " This place looks like the inside of a lot of coffins I've been in!" Meanwhile, Elvira, now over 103 years old, and dead for the last 35 years, was frolicking in part-time semi-wife Pia's gothic bedstead, leaking disgusting corpse juices on the black silk coverlet, and eventually losing an eyeball, which was never found. "I sure hope you guys don't squish my eyeball, if you ever get around to doing the big dirty again" the aged stinking deceased ex-human being quipped. Meantime, Bela, Elvira, Pia, and the old Pork-man stripped down and went skinny-dipping in Porkie's 6 foot-wide, 12 foot long above ground swimming pool (the one that lost him the variance, remember?) The fingers, toes, legs, and other (unmentionable) body parts left behind in the now-fetid stinkwater will serve as a lasting reminder of this lively visit of 2 great dead stars, to the regional center of illegal-alien bashing, Tantric Yoga pretending, jobless website proliferation, delusions of grandeur, insanity, and hate. "Yes", blurted Lugosi, before the rising sun burnt his skin, "Yes, for hate, I always come to Porkie-boy, Satan's biggest ally in the Mexican side of Pigskill." Before leaving, all 4 participated in the now-famous "Yard-Fart" ceremony, which involves activities not describable in a public venue.(but easily smelled from Washington Street). Before getting in his hearse, Mr. Lugosi quipped to Pork-man: "It's better to be friends with the dead, than to have no friends at all !!"

tags: Indian Porgie Point Royce Sherwood Pukeslinger Penstinger Green nuclear butterfly indian point

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


I, Sherwood Fatnsmelly Pukestinker, do hereby declare my open marriage to be now REALLY open, open to ANYONE who wants to support a psychotic 59 year old drifter, with deep medical problems. Forget the fact that I'm not medically insured, and just glomming off my wife's plan, forget the fact I have no prospects, no savings, and no retirement plan or inheritance, and that, essentially, whoever nurses me past 60 will do the whole diaper/ pee-bag/ bed-pan routine solo for me, alone with no professional help (unless we take a reverse mortgage-essentially stranding us in perpetuity on Dyckman street-but first we gotta pay off the damn MORTGAGE WE HAVE NOW). Forget that all my neighbors are now Mexicartel house flippers and their peon 7-to-a-bed clientele, we pretend to see ourselves as gentrifying the place. Well maybe we are, by getting really stoned every day, every night, popping percacets like M'n'M's, ... flushed down with box-wine merlot, and scotch (when the old lady ain't home)., and then lying to the ugly menopausal chump-bitch how great we fought the Leninist anarchy fight today (or whatever delusional lie I fed her the last time). It's like a permanent Woodstock over here, and I kinda like it, being free like this. Yes free--- to drift way.... gimme the beat boy, n cure my soul.... I wanna get lost on that Rock'n'Roll and drift awayyyyyyyy!

This past Friday morning I went in to see my brain surgeon, and get the outcast straitjacket I've been sporting taken off. I was attacked at a Pigskill theater by virulent Grateful Dead fans, and beaten to the proverbial pulp. But that's what I do, always seeking victimhood.For those who have seen me this month you have seen the words on my restraints of, "Pukes, Just Say No." My surgeon's nurse had not seen that message until I went into the office on Friday, and when she viewed it, our relationship was changed forever...she lives in Pigskill, grew up there her entire life, sees psychotic activist incarceration under its various guises as a good thing for her, for her family, and her small pigskill community, and does not believe anyone but Remi Chevalier should have a say in what happens with Porkie's attempt to re-license the aging marriage failing fast at 351 Dyckman street.

I was there to have my outcast straitjacket off for mental treatment, (shock therapy) but instead found myself confronted by this nurse with whom I'd always had a pleasant relationship. People in Pigskill would have to sell their homes if More Mexican house flippers appear, as many families could not afford the raise in property taxes that would occur if the Pigskill demographics went 100% campesino. People, Peena's friends and family, would lose their good welfare, could lose the comfortable fake-poverty life they have carved out for themselves. I countered with the elevated cancer risks from smoking tobacco, cannabis, and swilling merlot, , she said, "So what, we are all going to die some day anyway. some old freaks very soon, in fact ". it's hard to argue with that kind of logic. She did not want to hear about the freaks, cared not one bit about the nicotine 90 and the welfare pee leaking into the Hudson River. Tried to discuss wife-sexuality-degradation, and her own generous breast endowments, and again was all but shouted down by a once pleasant nurse charged with tending to at least part of my mental care.

If Pigskill's annoying freaks are decommissioned, I am sure that some will lose their beds on the ward. sure there will be a difficult period of adjustment for some, especially in Dyckman Street, who at least financially has benefited from having Pigskill's crime and prostitution in their small community, picking up their tab, keeping their property taxes low in comparison to the other communities surrounding them. The problem is, it is not fair for Pigskill, nor the 60,000 illegal immigrants living there to ask the larger community around the shithole to risk everything to protect them, and their illegal immigration gravy train. Syphilis rates in and around Pigskill (both Westchester and Rockland counties) when compared to the national averages are short, people have died because prostitution operates in our community, and more will continue to do so as long as the hoes continue to do so. That's why I frequent them, at the James Street Laundromat. I ride strictly bareback, Peena be damned. Those sexworker jobs, and increased property taxes in a small community pale to a point of insignificance when compared to that stark reality, of me being certifiably nuts, as well as totally unfaithful maritally.

People, and all those in the pro-legal community attack those of us on the other side as crime mongers, bongers, wierdos, fags, and far worse. They attack us, both in 3D real life, and out on the world wide web as pariahs, and societal misfits who obviously need to be locked away. And they are 100% correct. Talk about character estimation at its finest. What's odd, is that my lack of employment, my living off a maltreated woman provider, my annoying fake phish blogs, my disrespect to my own life (my addiction) is contained in dozens of these blogs, and I even stooped to stealing the white exploding teacups brand in an attempt to keep traffic down on other's blogs, to discourage people from our donation collection scams. As the expression goes, do not fake the John Hall blog, or "The Hill" blog, and then complain. If there were not some, even a lot of cash in asking for money from strangers on lurid and delusional ranting, no one would be working so hard to duplicate the writing of it's "publisher", (as in Larry Flynt) no one would work so diligently at trying to cover up my cracked drug escapades and rapidly declining health prognosis.. The opposing publisher is just smarter than me, better than me, healthy, young, and in the right. That's a potent combination.

The pro-legal side accuses us (me and my dead cat) of a stubborn refusal to discuss any facts...revealing someone's eccentric and semi-criminal character, telling whole truths, and going to bed covertly with their families...what does the legal immigration industry call that, how do they justify such tactics from those never working for them on the tax rolls? The end of the freaks justifies the means, do whatever it takes to silence the psychotic babble of the web-scamming faker side for the supposed greater good of humankind? What is next for the publisher of these joke blogs aimed squarely in my direction? Jokes thrown through the front window of my home, or perhaps a blazing burning cross, which I am constructing in my basement, and will have Remi light, via extrasensory perception (if he ever returns..... maybe I shouldda used Mitchum?)

The problem for everybody and their consummate truth mongers, is that I am not the only wack acting as if I'm John the frigging Baptist in the wilderness, not the only derelict drawing heroin blood from my own arms to these problem plagued, aging and brittling internet pseudo marriages that are contaminating Dyckman Street. Further, I am not going any where, because I'm stuck. No work, no new friends, no connection except as a wife-ass-kisser fading into the woodwork on my impotence issue. with each passing day, with each new problem with these aging marriages the voices calling for closure of Green Nuclear Bubberfly grows and multiplies. With each passing day, we get closer to that tipping point where the neighbors say enough, the deck's too close to the property line, the pool is too big for the lot, and the public out cry becomes so loud that NBC will have no choice but to do the right thing, and deny Porkie's variance again, stranding him in Tijuana Mexico on Dyckman for the rest of his miserable, psychotic life, where he hangs himself.

Sunday, May 6, 2007


Your typical city dweller doesn’t know just how much coal and uranium he burns each year. On Lake Shore Drive in Chicago—where the numbers are fairly representative of urban America as a whole—the answer is (roughly): four tons and a few ounces. In round numbers, tons of coal generate about half of the typical city’s electric power; ounces of uranium, about 17 percent; natural gas and hydro take care of the rest. New York is a bit different: an apartment dweller on the Upper West Side substitutes two tons of oil (or the equivalent in natural gas) for Chicago’s four tons of coal. The oil-tons get burned at plants like the huge oil/gas unit in Astoria, Queens. The uranium ounces get split at Indian Point in Westchester, 35 miles north of the city, as well as at the Ginna, Fitzpatrick, and Nine Mile Point units upstate, and at additional plants in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New Hampshire.
That’s the stunning thing about nuclear power: tiny quantities of raw material can do so much. A bundle of enriched-uranium fuel-rods that could fit into a two-bedroom apartment in Hell’s Kitchen would power the city for a year: furnaces, espresso machines, subways, streetlights, stock tickers, Times Square, everything—even our cars and taxis, if we could conveniently plug them into the grid. True, you don’t want to stack fuel rods in midtown Manhattan; you don’t in fact want to stack them casually on top of one another anywhere. But in suitable reactors, situated, say, 50 miles from the city on a few hundred acres of suitably fortified and well-guarded real estate, two rooms’ worth of fuel could electrify it all.
Think of our solitary New Yorker on the Upper West Side as a 1,400-watt bulb that never sleeps—that’s the national per-capita average demand for electric power from homes, factories, businesses, the lot. Our average citizen burns about twice as bright at 4 PM in August, and a lot dimmer at 4 AM in December; grown-ups burn more than kids, the rich more than the poor; but it all averages out: 14 floor lamps per person, lit round the clock. Convert this same number back into a utility’s supply-side jargon, and a million people need roughly 1.4 “gigs” of power—1.4 gigawatts (GW). Running at peak power, Entergy’s two nuclear units at Indian Point generate just under 2 GW. So just four Indian Points could take care of New York City’s 7-GW round-the-clock average. Six could handle its peak load of about 11.5 GW. And if we had all-electric engines, machines, and heaters out at the receiving end, another ten or so could power all the cars, ovens, furnaces—everything else in the city that oil or gas currently fuels.
For such a nuclear-powered future to arrive, however, we’ll need to get beyond our nuclear-power past. In the now-standard histories, the beginning of the end of nuclear power arrived on March 28, 1979, with the meltdown of the uranium core at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania. The Chernobyl disaster seven years later drove the final nail into the nuclear coffin. It didn’t matter that the Three Mile Island containment vessel had done its job and prevented any significant release of radioactivity, or that Soviet reactors operated within a system that couldn’t build a safe toaster oven. Uranium was finished.
Three Mile Island came on the heels of the first great energy shock to hit America. On October 19, 1973, King Faisal ordered a 25 percent reduction in Saudi Arabia’s oil shipments to the United States, launching the Arab oil embargo. Oil supplies would tighten and prices would rise from then on, experts predicted. It would take some time, but oil was finished, too.
Five months after Three Mile Island, the nation’s first energy secretary summed up our predicament: “The energy future is bleak,” James R. Schlesinger declared, “and is likely to grow bleaker in the decade ahead. We must rapidly adjust our economics to a condition of chronic stringency in traditional energy supplies.” Fortunately, some argued, the U.S. could manage on less—much less. Smaller, more fuel-efficient cars were gaining favor, and rising gas prices would curb demand. The nation certainly didn’t need any new giant electric power plants—efficiency and the development of renewable sources of power would suffice. “The long-run supply curve for electricity is as flat as the Kansas horizon,” noted one right-thinking energy sage.
In the ensuing decades, however, American oil consumption rose 15 percent and electricity use almost doubled. Many people aren’t happy about it. Protecting our oil-supply lines entangles us with feudal theocracies and the fanatical sects that they spawn. The coal that we burn to generate so much of our electricity pollutes the air and may warm the planet. What to do? All sober and thoughtful energy pundits at the New York Times, Greenpeace, and the Harvard Divinity School agree: the answer to both problems is . . . efficiency and the development of renewable sources of power. Nevertheless, the secretary of energy, his boss (now a Texas oilman, not a Georgia peanut farmer), and the rest of the country should look elsewhere.
The U.S. today consumes about 100 quads—100 quadrillion BTUs—of raw thermal energy per year. We do three basic things with it: generate electricity (about 40 percent of the raw energy consumed), move vehicles (30 percent), and produce heat (30 percent). Oil is the fuel of transportation, of course. We principally use natural gas to supply raw heat, though it’s now making steady inroads into electric power generation. Fueling electric power plants are mainly (in descending order) coal, uranium, natural gas, and rainfall, by way of hydroelectricity.
This sharp segmentation emerged relatively recently, and there’s no reason to think it’s permanent. After all, developing economies use trees and pasture as fuel for heat and transportation, and don’t generate much electricity at all. A century ago, coal was the all-purpose fuel of industrial economies: coal furnaces provided heat, and coal-fired steam engines powered trains, factories, and the early electric power plants. From the 1930s until well into the 1970s, oil fueled not just cars but many electric power plants, too. And by 2020, electricity almost certainly will have become the new cross-cutting “fuel” in both stationary and mobile applications.
That shift is already under way. About 60 percent of the fuel we use today isn’t oil but coal, uranium, natural gas, and gravity—all making electricity. Electricity has met almost all of the growth in U.S. energy demand since the 1980s. About 60 percent of our GDP now comes from industries and services that use electricity as their front-end “fuel”—in 1950, the figure was only 20 percent. The fastest growth sectors of the economy—information technology and telecom, notably—depend entirely on electricity for fuel, almost none of it oil-generated. Electrically powered information technology accounts for some 60 percent of new capital spending.
Electricity is taking over ever more of the thermal sector, too. A microwave oven displaces much of what a gas stove once did in a kitchen. So, too, lasers, magnetic fields, microwaves, and other forms of high-intensity photon power provide more precise, calibrated heating than do conventional ovens in manufacturing and the industrial processing of materials. These electric cookers (broadly defined) are now replacing conventional furnaces, ovens, dryers, and welders to heat air, water, foods, and chemicals, to cure paints and glues, to forge steel, and to weld ships. Over the next two decades, such trends will move another 15 percent or so of our energy economy from conventional thermal to electrically powered processes. And that will shift about 15 percent of our oil-and-gas demand to whatever primary fuels we’ll then be using to generate electricity.
Electricity is also taking over the power train in transportation—not the engine itself, but the system that drives power throughout the car. Running in confined tunnels as they do, subways had to be all-electric from the get-go. More recently, diesel-electric locomotives and many of the monster trucks used in mining have made the transition to electric drive trains. Though the oil-fired combustion engine is still there, it’s now just an onboard electric generator that propels only electrons.
Most significantly, the next couple of decades will see us convert to the hybrid gasoline-and-electric car. A steadily rising fraction of the power produced under the hood of a car already is used to generate electricity: electrical modules are replacing components that belts, gears, pulleys, and shafts once drove. Steering, suspension, brakes, fans, pumps, and valves will eventually go electric; in the end, electricity will drive the wheels, too. Gas prices and environmental mandates have little to do with this changeover. The electric drive train simply delivers better performance, lower cost, and less weight.
The policy implications are enormous. Outfitted with a fully electric power train, most of the car—everything but its prime mover—looks like a giant electrical appliance. This appliance won’t run any great distance on batteries alone, given today’s battery technology. But a substantial battery pack on board will provide surges of power when needed. And that makes possible at least some “refueling” of the car from the electricity grid. As cars get more electric, an infrastructure of battery-recharging stations will grow apace, probably in driveways and parking lots, where most cars spend most of their time.
Once you’ve got the wheels themselves running on electricity, the basic economics strongly favor getting that electricity from the grid if you can. Burning $2-a-gallon gasoline, the power generated by current hybrid-car engines costs about 35 cents per kilowatt-hour. Many utilities, though, sell off-peak power for much less: 2 to 4 cents per kilowatt-hour. The nationwide residential price is still only 8.5 cents or so. (Peak rates in Manhattan are higher because of the city’s heavy dependence on oil and gas, but not enough to change the basic arithmetic.) Grid kilowatts are cheaper because cheaper fuels generate them and because utility power plants run a lot more efficiently than car engines.
The gas tank and combustion engine won’t disappear anytime soon, but in the imminent future, grid power will (in effect) begin to top off the tank in between the short trips that account for most driving. All-electric vehicles flopped in the 1990s because batteries can’t store sufficient power for long weekend trips. But plug-in hybrids do have a gasoline tank for the long trips. And the vast majority of the most fuel-hungry trips are under six miles—within the range of the 2 to 5 kWh capacity of the onboard nickel-metal-hydride batteries in hybrids already on the road, and easily within the range of emerging automotive-class lithium batteries. Nationally, some 10 percent of hybrid cars could end up running almost entirely on the grid, as they travel less than six miles per day. Stick an extra 90 pounds—$800 worth—of nickel-metal-hydride batteries in a hybrid, recharge in garages and parking lots, and you can shift roughly 25 percent of a typical driver’s fuel-hungriest miles to the grid. Urban drivers could go long stretches without going near a gas station. The technology for replacing (roughly) one pint of gasoline with one pound of coal or under one ounce of uranium to feed one kilowatt-hour of power to the wheels is now close at hand.
So today we use 40 percent of our fuel to power the plug, and the plug powers 60 percent of GDP. And with the ascent of microwaves, lasers, hybrid wheels, and such, we’re moving to 60 and 80 percent, respectively, soon. And then, in due course, 100/100. We’re turning to electricity as fuel because it can do more, faster, in much less space—indeed, it’s by far the fastest and purest form of power yet tamed for ubiquitous use. Small wonder that demand for it keeps growing.
We’ve been meeting half of that new demand by burning an extra 400 million tons of coal a year, with coal continuing to supply half of our wired power. Natural gas, the fossil fuel grudgingly favored by most environmentalists, has helped meet the new demand, too: it’s back at 16 percent of electricity generated, where it was two decades ago, after dropping sharply for a time. Astonishingly, over this same period, uranium’s share of U.S. electricity has also risen—from 11 percent to its current 20 percent. Part of the explanation is more nuclear power plants. Even though Three Mile Island put an end to the commissioning of new facilities, some already under construction at the time later opened, with the plant count peaking at 112 in 1990. Three Mile Island also impelled plant operators to develop systematic procedures for sharing information and expertise, and plants that used to run seven months per year now run almost eleven. Uranium has thus displaced about eight percentage points of oil, and five points of hydroelectric, in the expanding electricity market.
Renewable fuels, by contrast, made no visible dent in energy supplies, despite the hopes of Greens and the benefits of government-funded research, subsidies, and tax breaks. About a half billion kWh of electricity came from solar power in 2002—roughly 0.013 percent of the U.S. total. Wind power contributed another 0.27 percent. Fossil and nuclear fuels still completely dominate the U.S. energy supply, as in all industrialized economies.
The other great hope of environmentalists, efficiency, did improve over the last couple of decades—very considerably, in fact. Air conditioners, car engines, industrial machines, lightbulbs, refrigerator motors—without exception, all do much more, with much less, than they used to. Yet in aggregate, they burn more fuel, too. Boosting efficiency actually raises consumption, as counterintuitive as that sounds. The more efficient a car, the cheaper the miles; the more efficient a refrigerator, the cheaper the ice; and at the end of the day, we use more efficient technology so much more that total energy consumption goes up, not down.
We’re burning our 40 quads of raw fuel to generate about 3.5 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year; if the automotive plug-and-play future does unfold on schedule, we’ll need as much as 7 trillion kWh per year by 2025. How should we generate the extra trillions of kilowatt-hours?
With hydrogen, the most optimistic Green visionaries reply—produced by solar cells or windmills. But it’s not possible to take such proposals seriously. New York City consumes so much energy that you’d need, at a minimum, to cover two cities with solar cells to power a single city (see “How Cities Green the Planet,” Winter 2000). No conceivable mix of solar and wind could come close to supplying the trillions of additional kilowatt-hours of power we’ll soon need.
Nuclear power could do it—easily. In all key technical respects, it is the antithesis of solar power. A quad’s worth of solar-powered wood is a huge forest—beautiful to behold, but bulky and heavy. Pound for pound, coal stores about twice as much heat. Oil beats coal by about twice as much again. And an ounce of enriched-uranium fuel equals about 4 tons of coal, or 15 barrels of oil. That’s why minuscule quantities contained in relatively tiny reactors can power a metropolis.
What’s more, North America has vast deposits of uranium ore, and scooping it up is no real challenge. Enrichment accounts for about half of the fuel’s cost, and enrichment technologies keep improving. Proponents of solar and wind power maintain—correctly—that the underlying technologies for these energy sources keep getting cheaper, but so do those that squeeze power out of conventional fuels. The lasers coming out of the same semiconductor fabs that build solar cells could enrich uranium a thousand times more efficiently than the gaseous-diffusion processes currently used.
And we also know this: left to its own devices, the market has not pursued thin, low-energy-density fuels, however cheap, but has instead paid steep premiums for fuels that pack more energy into less weight and space, and for power plants that pump greater power out of smaller engines, furnaces, generators, reactors, and turbines. Until the 1970s, engineering and economic imperatives had been pushing the fuel mix inexorably up the power-density curve, from wood to coal to oil to uranium. And the same held true on the demand side, with consumers steadily shifting toward fuels carrying more power, delivered faster, in less space.
Then King Faisal and Three Mile Island shattered our confidence and convinced regulators, secretaries of energy, and even a president that just about everything that the economists and engineers thought they knew about energy was wrong. So wrong that we had to reverse completely the extraordinarily successful power policies of the past.
New York has certainly felt the effects of that reversal. In 1965, the Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO) announced plans to build a $75 million nuclear plant in Suffolk County, to come on line by 1973; soon after, it purchased a 455-acre site between Shoreham and Wading River. A bit later, LILCO decided to increase Shoreham’s size and said it wanted to build several other nuclear plants in the area. Public resistance and federal regulators delayed Shoreham’s completion. Then Three Mile Island happened. In the aftermath, regulators required plant operators to devise evacuation plans in coordination with state and local governments. In early 1983, newly elected governor Mario Cuomo and the Suffolk County legislature both declared that no evacuation plan would ever be feasible and safe. That was that. By the time the state fully decommissioned Shoreham in 1994, its price tag had reached $6 billion—and the plant had never started full-power commercial operation. To pay for it all, Long Island electric rates skyrocketed.
What scared many New Yorkers—and thus many politicians—away from nuclear power was what had originally attracted the engineers and the utility economists to it: nuclear facilities use a unique fuel, burned, in its fashion, in relatively tiny reactors, to generate gargantuan amounts of power. Do it all just right, end to end, and you get cheap, abundant power, and King Faisal can’t do a thing about it. But the raw material itself, packing so much power into so little material, is inherently dangerous. Sufficiently bad engineering can result in a Three Mile Island or a Chernobyl. And these days, there’s the fear that poor security might enable terrorists to pull off something even worse.
How worried should we really be in 2005 that accidents or attacks might release and disperse a nuclear power plant’s radioactive fuel? Not very. Our civilian nuclear industry has dramatically improved its procedures and safety-related hardware since 1979. Several thousand reactor-years of statistics since Three Mile Island clearly show that these power plants are extraordinarily reliable in normal operation.
And uranium’s combination of power and super-density makes the fuel less of a terror risk, not more, at least from an engineering standpoint. It’s easy to “overbuild” the protective walls and containment systems of nuclear facilities, since—like the pyramids—the payload they’re built to shield is so small. Protecting skyscrapers is hard; no builder can afford to erect a hundred times more wall than usable space. Guaranteeing the integrity of a jumbo jet’s fuel tanks is impossible; the tanks have to fly. Shielding a nuclear plant’s tiny payload is easy—just erect more steel, pour more concrete, and build tougher perimeters.
In fact, it’s a safety challenge that we have already met. Today’s plants split atoms behind super-thick layers of steel and concrete; future plants would boast thicker protection still. All the numbers, and the strong consensus in the technical community, reinforce the projections made two decades ago: it is extremely unlikely that there will ever be a serious release of nuclear materials from a U.S. reactor.
What about the economic cost of nuclear power? Wind and sun are free, of course. But if the cost of fuel were all that mattered, the day of too-cheap-to-meter nuclear power would now be here—nearer, certainly, than too-cheap-to-meter solar power. Raw fuel accounts for over half the delivered cost of electricity generated in gas-fired turbines, about one-third of coal-fired power, and just a tenth of nuclear electricity. Factor in the cost of capital equipment, and the cheapest electrons come from uranium and coal, not sun and wind. What we pay for at our electric meter is increasingly like what we pay for at fancy restaurants: not the raw calories, but the fine linen, the service, and the chef’s ineffable artistry. In our overall energy accounts, the sophisticated power-conversion hardware matters more every year, and the cost of raw fuel matters less.
This in itself is great news for America. We’re good at large-scale hardware; we build it ourselves and keep building it cheaper. The average price of U.S. electricity fell throughout the twentieth century, and it has kept falling since, except in egregiously mismanaged markets such as California’s.
The cheap, plentiful power does terrific things for labor productivity and overall employment. As Lewis E. Lehrman notes, rising employment strongly correlates with rising supplies of low-cost energy. It takes energy to get the increasingly mobile worker to the increasingly distant workplace, and energy to process materials and power the increasingly advanced machines that shape and assemble those materials.
Most of the world, Europe aside, now recognizes this point. Workers in Asia and India are swiftly gaining access to the powered machines that steadily boosted the productivity of the American factory worker throughout the twentieth century. And the electricity driving those machines comes from power plants designed—and often built—by U.S. vendors. The power is a lot less expensive than ours, though, since it is generated the old-fashioned forget-the-environment way. There is little bother about protecting the river or scrubbing the smoke. China’s answer to the 2-gigawatt Hoover Dam on the Colorado River is the Three Gorges project, an 18-gigawatt dam on the Yangtze River. Combine cheaper supplies of energy with ready access to heavy industrial machines, and it’s hard to see how foreign laborers cannot close the productivity gap that has historically enabled American workers to remain competitive at considerably higher wages. Unless, that is, the United States keeps on pushing the productivity of its own workforce out ahead of its competitors. That—inevitably—means expanding our power supply and keeping it affordable, and deploying even more advanced technologies of powered production. Nuclear power would help keep the twenty-first-century U.S. economy globally competitive.
Greens don’t want to hear it, but nuclear power makes the most environmental sense, too. Nuclear wastes pose no serious engineering problems. Uranium is such an energy-rich fuel that the actual volume of waste is tiny compared with that of other fuels, and is easily converted from its already-stable ceramic form as a fuel into an even more stable glass-like compound, and just as easily deposited in deep geological formations, themselves stable for tens of millions of years. And what has Green antinuclear activism achieved since the seventies? Not the reduction in demand for energy that it had hoped for but a massive increase in the use of coal, which burns less clean than uranium.
Many Greens think that they have a good grip on the likely trajectory of the planet’s climate over the next 100 years. If we keep burning fossil fuels at current rates, their climate models tell them, we’ll face a meltdown on a much larger scale than Chernobyl’s, beginning with the polar ice caps. Saving an extra 400 million tons of coal here and there—roughly the amount of carbon that the United States would have to stop burning to comply with the Kyoto Protocol today—would make quite a difference, we’re told.
But serious Greens must face reality. Short of some convulsion that drastically shrinks the economy, demand for electricity will go on rising. Total U.S. electricity consumption will increase another 20 to 30 percent, at least, over the next ten years. Neither Democrats nor Republicans, moreover, will let the grid go cold—not even if that means burning yet another 400 million more tons of coal. Not even if that means melting the ice caps and putting much of Bangladesh under water. No governor or president wants to be the next Gray Davis, recalled from office when the lights go out.
The power has to come from somewhere. Sun and wind will never come close to supplying it. Earnest though they are, the people who argue otherwise are the folks who brought us 400 million extra tons of coal a year. The one practical technology that could decisively shift U.S. carbon emissions in the near term would displace coal with uranium, since uranium burns emission-free. It’s time even for Greens to embrace the atom.
It must surely be clear by now, too, that the political costs of depending so heavily on oil from the Middle East are just too great. We need to find a way to stop funneling $25 billion a year (or so) of our energy dollars into churning cauldrons of hate and violence. By sharply curtailing our dependence on Middle Eastern oil, we would greatly expand the range of feasible political and military options in dealing with the countries that breed the terrorists.
The best thing we can do to decrease the Middle East’s hold on us is to turn off the spigot ourselves. For economic, ecological, and geopolitical reasons, U.S. policymakers ought to promote electrification on the demand side, and nuclear fuel on the supply side, wherever they reasonably can.

Tags Indian Point, American Survival, Global Warming, High Tech Energy

Blog: WHITE NUCLEAR SNOWFLAKE - Get your quick ping button at!

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Pukestinker Apocalypse


Last night was so exciting. Pukey took 3 or 4 extra percacet pain pills just to get ready, splashed on an extra gob of Jovan Musk, and carefully opened the buttons on his lone silk disco-shirt, the one he wore in Aruba.

The loneliness was gonna be over, at last! Soon, very soon, all those semi-anonymous names (about 2 dozen, in total) on the sign-up list , would begin to be matched with faces, with bodies, with phone numbers, with----who knows WHAT!!

The long nights blogging, while wifey snored upstairs were just a thing of the past. Reverend Jesse Jackson's words began ringing in his scruffy , cigarette-ash-filled ears:


At last! Not a puke anymore! More than a feeling ! Tonight's da Night! Tonight Pukey and Looney (the French guy) were gonna get to hand out leaflets! Officially! If NRC granted them permission for a damn table IT MUST MEAN THEY REALLY EXIST, RIGHT?

With butterflies in his tummy (green ones, of course), he ran down the 18 concrete steps from 351 Dyckman, turned right, and jumped into Yardfart, which was parked nose-in across the sidewalk! His mind raced..... "NRC & Me...Wheeeee!" "NRC & Me...Wheeeee!"


Over long years, the NRC tactic of trying to reach the public, at local meetings, had failed entirely, attracting, instead of "the public", a looney bagattelle of unkempt eccentric walking wounded angry-thingies, monstrosities that came to life once every six months, not under the influence of the full moon, like wolfman, but under the influence OF NRC ITSELF!

Pukey didn't know it yet, but he felt the rush!

He was....



Indian Point Entergy Penstinger Remyc NRC Martinelli Yard Art Yardfart nuclear butterfly white green puke

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I the Porgus Bullorgus, The Roycester Oyster, The Pensinger Bullslinger, do hereby and forthwith ceremoniously and peremptorily declare and annul, that whereas the dangers pitfalls and comeuppances inherent in Merlot have been obvious to many but obscure to my own roseate sleepless baggy eyes, and furthermore albeit a multitude of cat-mites and catemites pursue me at every turn, in hopes perhaps of a final Armageddonesque denoumas, that nevertheless I spout, declare, pronounce and warrant the death of the once vital Green Nuclear Butterfly, it having flown once too often above the cannabis-soaked environs of Dyke-Man Street, in Creepskill New York, home away from home of the vast Nordamericano immigrant horde (and Porgie). Alas poor B-fly. More Butt-Fly than Butterfly it seems, it gleams, in reams and seams of B-fly juice abounding fruitful over fruitless heads behind the pet shop on Washington Street forever. Requiescat in Pacem, in Saecula Saeculorum, Amen.

Sunday, April 1, 2007


Having visited all these websites and others, I, Porkie Penstinger, hereby declare radioactive decay to be the "Heart of Gaia". I admit that radioactive decay warms the earth, and sustains our planet's ecosystem. I declare that my opposition to these correct scientific principles was based on personal bias, lack of education, and a desire to be noticed.

I apologize.

Lecture 8 History of the Earth Chapter 3
The dynamic Earth (Introduction to Geophysics)
Most geophysical processes stem from the transfer of heat from the Earth's core to its surface. 
 Why is the Earth's core hot?
1. The radio active decay of Uranium (U), Thorium (Th) and Potassium (K). Each radio active decay (the loss of some neutrons and protons) releases very little energy. However, all the countless events acting together release a large sustained amount of energy overtime. In the core of the Earth this energy is trapped and so the Earth's core is heated up.
2. As the solid inner grows latent heat is released as the molten outer core freezes to solid rock.  Eventually the whole Earth will be solid and there will be no magnetic field.
3. Residual formation heat. Some of the kinetic energy (1/2mv2) of the impacting planetesimals would have been converted to heat. This residual formation heat helped melt the core initially.
4. Another early heat source was the heat produced as the heavy elements (like Iron (Fe) and Nickel (Ni)) "falling" into the core. This process also generated heat from friction.

The exchange of heat from the hot core to the cool surface is called convection (heat rises, cold sinks). In this manner the whole Earth has a series of big convective cells in its mantel. The result is a complex series of movements of the crust of the Earth as it "rides" on top of the convective cells below.

Plate Tectonics  
In the 1950s and 60s geophysicists started to develop the concept of Plate Tectonics. Plate tectonics is the theory that describes the motion of the continental plates "riding" the tops of these massive convective cells in the Earth (like a conveyor belt). Here is a movie showing how the plates have moved the continents
Today these plates move by about 10 cm/yr
• when these plates stick, and then suddenly slip, an Earthquake occurs
• when the heavier ocean crust sinks below the lighter (granite) continental crust (at subjection zones) there will be Earthquakes and Volcanos -the ring of fire around the Pacific is built this way. The Continental crust will also be crumpled, and as a result it is typical to see mountain ranges along the edges of these faults (for example the rocky mountains and the Andes).
• Seamount Island Chains -like the Hawaiian Islands- are made when one hot spot in the Earths mantle leads to continuous eruptions in the same spot. But as the crust moves along the ocean floor a chain of new islands appear.Sometimes (but not often) two continental plates collide. In this case neither plate is heavier and so they both "crumple". This is occurring today as the Indian plate collides with the Asian plate. The result of this collision is the Himalayas which are the highest mountains on Earth.Why is a hot core important for life on Earth?
1. the surface temperature is higher
2. active volcanism can out gas the atmosphere and oceans
3. volcanism is required to form land masses above the ocean
4. hot spots in the sea floor can be "safe" habitats for life
5. hot springs and even hot water deep in the Earth can harbor life
6. volcanoes play a role in the Earth's carbon cycle

Basin and Range
Tucson is located in a unique part of the world. The area where we live is called "Basin & Range" geography. This denotes that in Eastern California, Arizona, and New Mexico the terrain is dominated by short (often parallel) mountain ranges with large dry basins between them. This is a highly unusual land form caused by a unique event in the Earth's history.
• About 20 million years ago the continental plate of the Southwest became "attached" somehow to the pacific coast plate which was moving northwest at the time.
• Added to this was intense heat from magma close to the surface.
• The end result was the unique "Basin & Range disturbance" where the coast of California was pulled away from Arizona by some 38% of its original size.
• The hard cold rock on the top splintered into dozens of parallel ranges, while huge basins over 1 km deep were opened up between the rangeThe whole stretching event took a few million years. Then due to erosion the valleys filled in and the ranges wore down --further filling the valleys.
The reason Tucson exists today is because of the "fossil ground water" trapped in the huge 1 km deep valley basin exists below the city.

Radioactivity in Earth's core up for a look
vast uranium field serves as natural reactor
Keay Davidson, SF Chronicle Science Writer
Monday, November 29, 2004

Researchers are preparing to prove the discoveries of San Diego geologist, J. Marvin Herndon, who has found a huge, natural nuclear reactor or "georeactor" -- a vast deposit of uranium several miles wide -- at Earth's core, thousands of miles beneath our feet. Herndon and many others believe it explains otherwise puzzling phenomena of planetary science, such as fluctuations in the intensity of Earth's magnetic field. "Herndon's idea about (a reactor) located at the center of the Earth, has opened a new era in planetary physics," said four Russian scientists at Moscow's Institute for Nuclear Research and Kurchatov Institute in a Jan. 28 paper published online. It might sound bizarre, the very idea of a "natural" nuclear reactor -- a geological version of commercial nuclear power plants such as Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s Diablo Canyon plant near San Luis Obispo. The reactor at the Earth's core is just a much bigger and deeper version of an extinct natural nuclear reactor that scientists discovered in a uranium mine in Gabon, Africa, in 1972. The Gabon reactor consists of geological deposits of uranium that, being radioactive, naturally emit subatomic particles called neutrons. These neutrons split the nuclei in adjacent uranium atoms, causing them to emit more neutrons and, thus, to split even more uranium atoms -- in effect, it's a slow-speed chain reaction. Research in the 1970s revealed that the Gabon reactor operated intermittently for a few million years about 2 billion years ago. Scientists have long known the planet's core is divided into a solid and liquid part composed largely of iron, the liquid circulation of which powers Earth's magnetic field. They have not thought of the core as a repository for uranium, because uranium was not understood until 1945. Although the inevitability of uranium in the core was proposed in 1939 by scientist Walter Elsasser, on the basis that it is the heaviest naturally occurring element, so it would migrate to the core via gravity. Herndon has demonstrated how a uranium georeactor in Earth's core explains reality better than older scientific ideas, by providing more convincing ways to:

-- Explain the ratios of helium isotopes emitted from volcanoes in Iceland and Hawaii. Those ratios are consistent with the ratios of helium isotopes emitted by a nuclear reactor.
-- Explain why planets such as Jupiter emit far more heat than they absorb from the sun. Herndon thinks they, too, have natural nuclear reactors at their cores. (Because heat is continually generated by the decay of radioactive elements in Earth's crust and mantle -- the regions above the core -- scientists are uncertain whether Earth emits more heat than it receives from the sun.)
-- Explain variations in the intensity of Earth's magnetic field, which fluctuates over time. Herndon has shown that in the core, the georeactor drives the motions of the liquid iron that creates the magnetic field. But the georeactor varies in activity levels over time. Those activity variations, he believes, might explain intensity variations in Earth's magnetic field.
Now, Rob de Meijer and associates at the Nuclear Physics Institute in Groningen, the Netherlands, are planning to demonstrate Herndon's proposals. They're drawing blueprints for a large device that could detect ghostly particles called antineutrinos that have escaped from Earth's core. When put into operation, it will capture antineutrinos that would fly through the roughly 4,000 miles of solid rock and emerge at the Earth's surface.
The European scientists have proposed drilling a shaft more than 1,000 feet deep into the island of Curacao in the Caribbean. They hope to lower into the shaft devices called photomultipliers, which could detect particles from the hypothetical deep-Earth georeactor.
The estimated cost: $80 million. In an e-mail to The Chronicle, de Meijer said he is seeking funding from the Dutch government and industrial consortiums. He and his team plan to visit Curacao in January to take the geological samples needed to design the subterranean antineutrino "antenna," as they call it. Curacao is a good location for the antineutrino detector because "the island's rocks have relatively few natural radionuclides that could mask the (antineutrino) signal from the Earth's core," the journal Physics World noted in September. The detector could be confused by antineutrinos emitted by commercial nuclear reactors, but Curacao is far enough from the southeastern United States that reactors in Florida won't affect it. "Dr. Herndon is a brilliant and original thinker. I agree with his proposal" said geoscientist David Deming of the University of Oklahoma. "The problem with most scientists working today is that they have no knowledge of the history of science," Deming adds. "As late as 1955, continental drift was regarded as the equivalent of alien abductions, Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster. By 1970, continental drift was an accepted part of the new theory of plate tectonics." Richard Muller, a noted physicist and author at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley. Since the 1970s, Muller has done pioneering research in diverse fields, including cosmology and planetary sciences. "Herndon's discovery is a very positive contribution to deep Earth science. He raises issues that are worth exploring at some length. " Muller adds. "I consider his work to be 'out of the box' thinking, and as such, it is valuable as a step forward in our understanding of reality."
On a side note, in case you're wondering: Unlike the planet-busting reactor of Superman lore, neither the Gabon reactor nor Herndon's hypothetical deep-Earth reactors could explode like atomic bombs. A-bombs require highly concentrated amounts of fissionable materials that are explosively compressed together in a fraction of a second -- far faster than the snail's-pace processes that would be characteristic of the natural reactors. Herndon received his bachelor's degree in physics at UC San Diego in 1970. He studied nuclear chemistry and meteorites in graduate school at Texas A&M, where he received his doctoral degree for a thesis on meteorites. Operating as an independent scientist, over the years, he has published papers in prestigious journals, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. His main allies are non-Americans, like the de Meijer team. On Dec. 16, Herndon is scheduled to deliver the prestigious annual "Christmas Lecture" at the European Commission's Institute for Transuranium Elements in Karlsruhe, Germany. It is felt that the huge antinuclear bias in American society is preventing other U.S. academics from getting on board, as they might lose tenure positions or funding by bucking the strong academic antinuke culture on this issue. Had his two sons -- now physicians -- planned to become scientists, he says, "I would have steered them away from it because you can't make a living and do legitimate science; you have to 'howl with the wolves' or you don't survive. This is a sad testament to our times. There's something very wrong in American science."

Herndon’s discovery:
According to traditional theory, the core of Earth consists of iron. The SanDiego scientist J. Marvin Herndon has argued that a large deposit of uranium also exists in the core, where it powers a natural nuclear reactor or “georeactor.” Herndon believes the nuclear process is responsible for variations in the intensity of Earth’s magnetic field. During the radioactive decays, the georeactor releases ghostly particles called antineutrinos, which fly through thousands of miles of solid rock to Earth’s surface. Scientists will test Herndon’s georeactor by using special instruments to detect the antineutrinos as they pass through the outer crust.
Other scientists have expanded Herndon's proposal to include Thorium and Potassium.

Why is the earth's core so hot? And how do scientists measure its temperature?
Jeff Atwell
Mount Vernon, Ohio
Quentin Williams, associate professor of earth sciences at the University of California at Santa Cruz offers this explanation:
There are three main sources of heat in the deep earth: (1) heat from when the planet formed and accreted, which has not yet been lost; (2) frictional heating, caused by denser core material sinking to the center of the planet; and (3) heat from the decay of radioactive elements.
It takes a rather long time for heat to move out of the earth. This occurs through both "convective" transport of heat within the earth's liquid outer core and solid mantle and slower "conductive" transport of heat through nonconvecting boundary layers, such as the earth's plates at the surface. As a result, much of the planet's primordial heat, from when the earth first accreted and developed its core, has been retained.
The amount of heat that can arise through simple accretionary processes, bringing small bodies together to form the proto-earth, is large: on the order of 10,000 kelvins (about 18,000 degrees Farhenheit). The crucial issue is how much of that energy was deposited into the growing earth and how much was reradiated into space. Indeed, the currently accepted idea for how the moon was formed involves the impact or accretion of a Mars-size object with or by the proto-earth. When two objects of this size collide, large amounts of heat are generated, of which quite a lot is retained. This single episode could have largely melted the outermost several thousand kilometers of the planet. Additionally, descent of the dense iron-rich material that makes up the core of the planet to the center would produce heating on the order of 2,000 kelvins (about 3,000 degrees F). The magnitude of the third main source of heat--radioactive heating--is large, but quantitatively uncertain. The precise abundances of radioactive elements (primarily potassium, uranium and thorium) are is poorly known in the deep earth. In sum, there was no shortage of heat in the early earth, and the planet's inability to cool off quickly results in the continued high temperatures of the Earth's interior. In effect, not only do the earth's plates act as a blanket on the interior, but not even convective heat transport in the solid mantle provides a particularly efficient mechanism for heat loss. The planet does lose some heat through the processes that drive plate tectonics, especially at mid-ocean ridges. For comparison, smaller bodies such as Mars and the Moon show little evidence for recent tectonic activity or volcanism. We derive our primary estimate of the temperature of the deep earth from the melting behavior of iron at ultrahigh pressures. We know that the earth's core depths from 2,886 kilometers to the center at 6,371 kilometers (1,794 to 3,960 miles), is predominantly iron, with some contaminants. How? The speed of sound through the core (as measured from the velocity at which seismic waves travel across it) and the density of the core are quite similar to those seen in of iron at high pressures and temperatures, as measured in the laboratory. Iron is the only element that closely matches the seismic properties of the earth's core and is also sufficiently abundant present in sufficient abundance in the universe to make up the approximately 35 percent of the mass of the planet present in the core. The earth's core is divided into two separate regions: the liquid outer core and the solid inner core, with the transition between the two lying at a depth of 5,156 kilometers (3,204 miles). Therefore, If we can measure the melting temperature of iron at the extreme pressure of the boundary between the inner and outer cores, then this lab temperature should reasonably closely approximate the real temperature at this liquid-solid interface. Scientists in mineral physics laboratories use lasers and high-pressure devices called diamond-anvil cells to re-create these hellish pressures and temperatures as closely as possible.

Radioactive material primary heat source in Earth's core
Radioactive potassium, common enough on Earth to make potassium-rich bananas one of the "hottest" foods around, appears also to be a substantial source of heat in the Earth's core, according to recent experiments by University of California, Berkeley, geophysicists. Radioactive potassium, uranium and thorium are thought to be the three main sources of heat in the Earth's interior, aside from that generated by the formation of the planet. Together, the heat keeps the mantle actively churning and the core generating a protective magnetic field. But geophysicists have found much less potassium in the Earth's crust and mantle than would be expected based on the composition of rocky meteors that supposedly formed the Earth. If, as some have proposed, the missing potassium resides in the Earth's iron core, how did an element as light as potassium get there, especially since iron and potassium don't mix? Kanani Lee, who recently earned her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, and UC Berkeley professor of earth and planetary science Raymond Jeanloz have discovered a possible answer. They've shown that at the high pressures and temperatures in the Earth's interior, potassium can form an alloy with iron never before observed. During the planet's formation, this potassium-iron alloy could have sunk to the core, depleting potassium in the overlying mantle and crust and providing a radioactive potassium heat source in addition to that supplied by uranium and thorium in the core. Lee created the new alloy by squeezing iron and potassium between the tips of two diamonds to temperatures and pressures characteristic of 600-700 kilometers below the surface - 2,500 degrees Celsius and nearly 4 million pounds per square inch, or a quarter of a million times atmospheric pressure.
"Our new findings indicate that the core may contain as much as 1,200 parts per million potassium -just over one tenth of one percent," Lee said. "This amount may seem small, and is comparable to the concentration of radioactive potassium naturally present in bananas. Combined over the entire mass of the Earth's core, however, it can be enough to provide one-fifth of the heat given off by the Earth." Lee and Jeanloz will report their findings on Dec. 10, at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, and in an article accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters.
"With one experiment, Lee and Jeanloz demonstrated that potassium may be an important heat source for the geodynamo, provided a way out of some troublesome aspects of the core's thermal evolution, and further demonstrated that modern computational mineral physics not only complements experimental work, but that it can provide guidance to fruitful experimental explorations," said Mark Bukowinski, professor of earth and planetary science at UC Berkeley, who predicted the unusual alloy in the mid-1970s. Geophysicist Bruce Buffett of the University of Chicago cautions that more experiments need to be done to show that iron can actually pull potassium away from the silicate rocks that dominate in the Earth's mantle.
"They proved it would be possible to dissolve potassium into liquid iron," Buffet said. "Modelers need heat, so this is one source, because the radiogenic isotope of potassium can produce heat and that can help power convection in the core and drive the magnetic field. They proved it could go in. What's important is how much is pulled out of the silicate. There's still work to be done " If a significant amount of potassium does reside in the Earth's core, this would clear up a lingering question - why the ratio of potassium to uranium in stony meteorites (chondrites), which presumably coalesced to form the Earth, is eight times greater than the observed ratio in the Earth's crust. Though some geologists have asserted that the missing potassium resides in the core, there was no mechanism by which it could have reached the core. Other elements like oxygen and carbon form compounds or alloys with iron and presumably were dragged down by iron as it sank to the core. But at normal temperature and pressure, potassium does not associate with iron. Others have argued that the missing potassium boiled away during the early, molten stage of Earth's evolution. The demonstration by Lee and Jeanloz that potassium can dissolve in iron to form an alloy provides an explanation for the missing potassium. "Early in Earth's history, the interior temperature and pressure would not have been high enough to make this alloy," Lee said. "But as more and more meteorites piled on, the pressure and temperature would have increased to the point where this alloy could form."
The existence of this high-pressure alloy was predicted by Bukowinski in the mid-1970s. Using quantum mechanical arguments, he suggested that high pressure would squeeze potassium's lone outer electron into a lower shell, making the atom resemble iron and thus more likely to alloy with iron. More recent quantum mechanical calculations using improved techniques, conducted with Gerd Steinle-Neumann at the Universität Bayreuth's Bayerisches Geoinstitüt, confirmed the new experimental measurements. "This really replicates and verifies the earlier calculations 26 years ago and provides a physical explanation for our experimental results," Jeanloz said. The Earth is thought to have formed from the collision of many rocky asteroids, perhaps hundreds of kilometers in diameter, in the early solar system. As the proto-Earth gradually bulked up, continuing asteroid collisions and gravitational collapse kept the planet molten. Heavier elements – in particular iron - would have sunk to the core in 10 to 100 million years' time, carrying with it other elements that bind to iron.
Gradually, however, the Earth would have cooled off and become a dead rocky globe with a cold iron ball at the core if not for the continued release of heat by the decay of radioactive elements like potassium-40, uranium-238 and thorium-232, which have half-lives of 1.25 billion, 4 billion and 14 billion years, respectively. About one in every thousand potassium atoms is radioactive. The heat generated in the core turns the iron into a convecting dynamo that maintains a magnetic field strong enough to shield the planet from the solar wind. This heat leaks out into the mantle, causing convection in the rock that moves crustal plates and fuels volcanoes. Balancing the heat generated in the core with the known concentrations of radiogenic isotopes has been difficult, however, and the missing potassium has been a big part of the problem. One researcher proposed earlier this year that sulfur could help potassium associate with iron and provide a means by which potassium could reach the core. The experiment by Lee and Jeanloz shows that sulfur is not necessary. Lee combined pure iron and pure potassium in a diamond anvil cell and squeezed the small sample to 26 gigapascals of pressure while heating the sample with a laser above 2,500 Kelvin (4,000 degrees Fahrenheit), which is above the melting points of both potassium and iron. She conducted this experiment six times in the high-intensity X-ray beams of two different accelerators - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Advanced Light Source and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory - to obtain X-ray diffraction images of the samples' internal structure. The images confirmed that potassium and iron had mixed evenly to form an alloy, much as iron and carbon mix to form steel alloy. In the theoretical magma ocean of a proto-Earth, the pressure at a depth of 400-1,000 kilometers (270-670 miles) would be between 15 and 35 gigapascals and the temperature would be 2,200-3,000 Kelvin, Jeanloz said. "At these temperatures and pressures, the underlying physics changes and the electron density shifts, making potassium look more like iron," Jeanloz said. "At high pressure, the periodic table looks totally different." "The work by Lee and Jeanloz provides the first proof that potassium is indeed miscible in iron at high pressures and, perhaps as significantly, it further vindicates the computational physics that underlies the original prediction," Bukowinski said. "If it can be further demonstrated that potassium would enter iron in significant amounts in the presence of silicate minerals, conditions representative of likely core formation processes, then potassium could provide the extra heat needed to explain why the Earth's inner core hasn't frozen to as large a size as the thermal history of the core suggests it should." Jeanloz is excited by the fact that theoretical calculations are now not only explaining experimental findings at high pressure, but also predicting structures. "We need theorists to identify interesting problems, not only check our results after the experiment," he said. "That's happening now. In the past half a dozen years, theorists have been making predictions that experimentalists are willing to spend a few years to demonstrate." The work was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.