The Cherenkov-Kirby Reaction is the metaphysical explanation of how individuals in the Spinnerette universe can expend energy in the form of superpowers, without requiring a matching energy intake (such as nutrition). In essence, it permits the bypass of the laws of energy conservation. It is not exactly explained, but possibly involves mass-energy equivalency. Not all superheroes possess the C-K Reaction, as some are empowered by magic or technology instead. However, some forms of technology are capable of producing the equivalent of the C-K reaction, such as the Venusian biological reactor which empowers Super MILF.
The C-K Reaction can be harvested technologically to produce large amounts of energy from a compact source via a device known as a Cherenkov-Kirby Reactor. According to Dr. Universe, current reactor technology utilizes cells harvested from the pineal gland of Ultra, an American superhero. As the pineal gland is very small and part of the brain, only a small number of reactors could be constructed, and Ultra's life was forfeit in their manufacture.