Scientists from the Bristol Cabot Institute have discovered how to make use of nuclear waste and do something good with it. They have come up with an ingenious way to turn this waste into diamond batteries that could potentially generate power for thousands of years to come and could be used in medical devices, satellites or even to power spacecraft.
During the process of generating electricity, nuclear power plants produce very dangerous radioactive waste as a byproduct. This waste is simply deposited on the ground where it’s left to decompose. But, considering radioactive waste has a half-life of over 5,000 years, it may be there for quite some time. But, with thanks to the scientists’ now being able to turn this waste into something good, maybe we can finally rid some of it.
The way it works is by the scientists first heating the radioactive graphite to release the dangerous gas before it is blasted with both high and low temperatures before forming into a diamond. It was then discovered that when these diamonds are put near a radioactive field, they generate a small amount of electricity. When they put the diamond battery inside another to ward off dangerous emissions, it generated, even more, electricity.
This new nuclear diamond battery is not like most other batteries and has a half life of over 5000 years! Also, being so efficient they could work wonders in extending the life of pacemakers in the medical world or increasing the flight times of planes, spacecraft or satellites. It’s a great plan as kills two birds with one stone – a greater battery is developed while radioactive waste is being rid off. In a world where renewables are becoming very important (as is cleaning up the environment), this is a great leap forward.
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