Geothermal is Nuclear in Australia

Earth Temperature at 5km (extrapolated)

Following yet another failure of one of Tim Flannery’s “hot-rocks” geothermal plants to be practical; temperatures being too high and the materials unable to survive for long in the highly corrosive environment at the necessary depth, somebody indicated a map of geothermal activity in Australia.

I scrolled down to the map showing the areas marked as most-viable and they “clicked”. There was a familiar pattern of distribution. The original map is on the Wayback Engine.

Uranium Deposts and Mining

A hypothesis that one can form is that the geothermal areas are hot because of slow decay of nuclear isotopes. They are in effect, like the nuclear reactors that space agencies put on deep-space probes.

They’re probably not going to be critical as was e.g. Oklo

There are better ways of exploiting available nuclear power resources than Tim Flannery’s. Australia doesn’t need to spend any money on R&D of the means of getting heat from a reactor. It’s off the shelf.

(With edits. Originally published on Facebook 2009-12-01)