Researchers at the University of Bristol recently discovered a new technique that turns nuclear waste into radioactive diamond batteries which then can turn nuclear waste into clean energy. According to mnn.com, the “half-life” of these radioactive materials can last for 1,000 years which means so does the power source, according to mnn.com.
“There are no moving parts involved, no emissions generated and no maintenance required, just direct electricity generation. By encapsulating radioactive material inside diamonds, we turn a long-term problem of nuclear waste into a nuclear-powered battery and a long-term supply of clean energy,” stated Tom Scott, a professor at the University of Bristol, according to MNN.com
“The normal way to produce electricity is to use energy, like burning coal or capturing wind, to move a magnet through a coil of wire to generate a current. However, a diamond is able to produce a charge simply by being subjected to a radiation field,” says Forbes.com.
These diamond batteries don’t produce one large charge of electricity. MNN.com reports, “One gram of the stuff would deliver around 15 joules per day, less than an alkaline AA battery; The perk, though, is in how long lasting they are.”
The radioactive diamond battery will still be putting out 50% power after 5,730 years, according to Forbes.com. It is also safe to say that these batteries will not be cheap, judging by the way that they are made of diamonds and nuclear waste, but according to MNN.com, they are intended for space stations and scientific research labs, which can afford much more than the public can.
According to MNN.com, Tom Scott stated, “There are so many possible uses that we’re asking the public to come up with suggestions of how they would utilize this technology by using #diamondbattery.”