As the new decade rolls by, scientists have been frantically trying to construct batteries made of diamond. The batteries would have the recycled energy of nuclear waste. These batteries would work for at least an entire millennium.
Researchers at Bristol University have already designed diamond batteries that obtain their power from materials that are radioactive in nature. These batteries have already been tested. Now the researchers are shifting their attention towards seeking power from nuclear waste by recycling them.
One such area where the amount of nuclear waste is high is the Berkeley Power Station at Gloucestershire. This power plant was decommissioned back in 1989 but has recently been deemed safe for the extraction of waste.
The process involves extracting the isotopes of Carbon-14 from blocks of graphite. These would then be molded within diamonds that are wafer-thin. This, according to scientists, would provide the user with unlimited power for a millennium. The applications of these would be hugely diverse- from hearing aids to spacecraft- the possibilities are endless.
These batteries made of diamond have already been tested by researchers in volatile environments- especially in areas where conventional power sources are hard to replace. According to James Barker, a full-fledged battery at this stage would be able to charge a cellphone.
While the uses are far and many, it should be primarily used by technology that requires low stable power over long periods of time. And especially sources of energy which takes a lot more money, time and manpower to replace.
In case people are worried about the possible radiation from nuclear waste, the diamond encasing would absorb any and all forms of radiation. This would render the batteries perfectly harmless for medical and entrepreneurial use.
The UK has close to 100,000 tonnes of nuclear waste at its disposal. And most of these nuclear wastes take on the form of graphite blocks. Most of the nuclear plants are thought to be decommissioned by 2030, which makes this project a lot more necessary. The researchers are hoping that they institute a factory that would help with the conversion of nuclear waste into near-infinite sources of energy.
Tom Scott, one of the professors involved in this project, is of the opinion that the main theme behind this project is the institution of a factory at the South West nuclear plant. The factory stated would help in the direct transformation of the C 14 isotopes straight into the batteries made of diamond. Ultimately, it would help in the management of the rest of the materials.
Considering the state of UK’s nuclear plants by the next decade, this is a Godsend opportunity to draw out as much energy possible from nuclear waste. This will ultimately benefit a great many number of consumers.