How is the heat produced?
The slow decay of radioactive
particles such as uranium, thorium
and potassium produces heat
deep within the earth’s core. The
heat is transferred or conducted to
surrounding rocks (called the mantle)
causing a proportion of these to melt
and become magma. Convection
within the mantle enables magma
to move upwards to the earth’s
surface. The resulting volcanic areas
are targeted by those generating
electricity from Conventional
Engineered Geothermal Systems (EGS/also known as enhanced
geothermal or hot dry/fractured rock).
In other places around the world,
radiogenic granites can be found.
In these granites, as occurs in the
earth’s core, the decay of radioactive
particles produces heat. Where the
radiogenic granites are covered
by insulating rocks, such as shale or
other fine grained rocks, the heat can
be retained. It is these radiogenic
granites that are sought by those
wishing to generate power from EGS.