Research is progressing on 'diamond batteries' that can recycle nuclear radioactive waste as batteries



Radioactive waste generated by nuclear power generation, etc., must be handled strictly because it emits harmful radiation even after industrial use. Research on ' diamond batteries ', which recycles such radioactive waste as batteries, is in progress.

Nuclear waste could be recycled for diamond battery power

'Diamond-age' of power generation as nuclear batteries developed

Nuclear power generation using nuclear energy emits a small amount of carbon dioxide and is considered to be a cleaner power generation method than thermal power generation, but the problem is the treatment of radioactive waste remaining after power generation. For example, on the Pacific Ocean, Lunit Island in the Republic of the Marshall Islands contains radioactive waste left by the United States during the Cold War, and the danger of plutonium leaking out has been pointed out.

Plutonium may be leaking from the `` grave of nuclear weapons '' on the Pacific Ocean-gigazine

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Meanwhile, a research team at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom has developed a new technology that uses nuclear waste to generate electricity. This technology, announced in 2016, uses an 'artificial diamond' as a battery, which generates electric charges just by placing it near an object that emits radiation.

'We have no moving parts, no emissions, no maintenance, just direct power generation,' said Tom Scott , a researcher in materials science at the University of Bristol, who is leading the research. Simply encapsulating the radioactive material in diamond can turn the long-term problem of radioactive waste into a long-term supply of nuclear batteries and clean energy. '



At the time of 2016, the research team nickel has created a prototype of the diamond cell in which the nickel 63 is a radioactive isotope of the radiation source, is also a proven behavior. Later, in order to improve the efficiency of diamond batteries, the research team developed a diamond battery using carbon-14 , a radioactive isotope of carbon . Carbon 14 can be extracted from graphite used as a moderator in nuclear power generation, and extracting carbon 14 from used graphite will reduce radioactivity and reduce the cost of storing radioactive waste.

Neil Fox , a research team, said that carbon-14 was used in diamond batteries, 'Carbon-14 emits short-range radiation that is quickly absorbed by all solid materials. It is dangerous to touch bare skin, but it is safe if it is held inside a diamond because short-range radiation cannot escape. '

Diamond batteries that use radioactive waste have lower power compared to existing batteries, but have the advantage of a very long battery life. 'It is envisioned that these batteries will be used in situations where they cannot be replaced or recharged,' says Carbon 14 carbon diamond batteries will take 5730 years to reach 50% of their lifetime. It applies to electronic devices such as pacemakers and satellites that require low-power but long-lasting batteries. '

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The research team is planning to produce diamond batteries by recycling radioactive waste from the Berkeley Nuclear Power Plant , which was shut down in 1989 and decommissioned at the time of writing. 'The ultimate goal is to build a site near the former nuclear power plant to extract carbon-14 from graphite for use in diamond cells,' said Scott.

in Science, Posted by log1h_ik