UK scientists use radioactive waste to create “almost infinite” power supply batteries

Tram Ho

Scientists are trying to convert radioactive waste into batteries that can last thousands of years. More specifically, researchers at the University of Bristol are studying new generation diamond batteries with the ability to use the energy emitted from radioactive matter; they have successfully developed such a battery and are now testing it with radioactive waste from decommissioned nuclear plants scattered across the UK.

Most recently, in early January, the research team collected radioactive waste from the Berkeley Energy Station in Gloucestershire – the plant had been shut down since 1989 but it was not until now that people could access it. Radioactive waste here safely.

Các nhà khoa học Anh sử dụng rác thải phóng xạ để tạo ra pin cung cấp năng lượng gần như vô hạn - Ảnh 1.

They extracted the Carbon-14 isotope (with a half-life of 5,730 years) from graphite blocks, combining it with thin diamond foil to get the battery. Due to the very long half-life of Carbon-14, scientists say the battery can provide “almost infinite” power. We can apply it on small things like hearing aids, pacemakers, to probes to other parts of the Milky Way galaxy.

Diamond batteries fit within a layer of non-emissive diamonds, capable of absorbing the radiation emitted by Carbon-14, so we can completely apply them to medical devices.

At the present time, diamond batteries are being tested for devices placed in extreme environments and hinder battery replacement, such as sensors placed near craters.

Gradually, a more modern version of the diamond battery will be in a mobile phone, ” James Baker, a researcher at Bristol University’s School of Engineering told The Independent. ” However, this type of battery will be used primarily for devices that require less power, last for a long time and operate in places where it is difficult to find alternative sources of energy .”

Moreover, new battery technology can solve the burning problem of radioactive waste. Scientists expect that in the next 5 years, the first diamond battery factory will appear in the Berkeley area.

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The remaining graphite blocks in nuclear power plants.

The ultimate goal is to build a factory right here in the area of ​​a former nuclear power plant, to get the Carbon-14 isotope directly from graphite blocks to make diamond batteries. This activity is both reducing the radiation of the remaining waste, but also an effective way to handle it, ”said Professor Tom Scott, director of the Southwest Nuclear Center.

With plans to close most UK nuclear plants within the next 10-15 years, the new technology opens up opportunities to recycle radioactive materials to generate usable energy for a variety of purposes, ” he said. .

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Source : Genk