Bristol uni develops nuclear battery ‘powered by waste’
30 Nov 2016
Researchers at the University of Bristol have created a nuclear-powered battery that uses nuclear waste to generate electricity.
It is thought the technology could be used to solve some of the challenges associated with nuclear waste clear up, clean energy generation and battery life.
The man-made diamond device works by being placed in close proximity to a radioactive source. This is unlike the majority of electricity-generation technologies that use energy to move a magnet through a coil of wire to generate a current, the researchers said.
Tom Scott, Professor in Materials in the university's Interface Analysis Centre, said: "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.”
So far, the team has demonstrated a prototype ‘diamond battery’ using Nickel-63 as the radiation source.
A full account of the research was presented at the Cabot Institute’s lecture – ‘Ideas to change the world’ – on 25 November.
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