Nuclear Waste: A Source of Electricity In the Form of Diamond Batteries
Scientists from England are working on the discharged nuclear waste from the power plants and trying to use it for brand-new diamond batteries for power supply source. They are using a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) method to manufacture diamonds through pressing the carbon.
C-14 Diamond Batteries
In this method, one of the isotopes of carbon C-14, introduces a thin film of diamond wafers produced through CVD to manufacture diamond batteries. According to the researchers, it will produce nearly infinite energy to run a small system. Even a little high power version can charge your mobile phone.
Diamond batteries are the beta-voltaic cells that use C-14 in a diamond shape as a beta radiation source. These beta radiations have an average energy of about 50KeV, and solids can easily absorb them.
Berkeley nuclear power plant is the source of discharge nuclear waste material for this project, which is present in the country of Gloucestershire. It’s about at the two hours’ drive from London, which is also the home of the massively popular country house region, named Cotswold. According to a historic England man, “Berkeley was the first commercial nuclear power station in the United Kingdom to be decommissioned following its closure in 1989.”
There are about 100,000 tons of nuclear waste, which is in the form of graphite blocks in the U.K. alone. It is an excellent opportunity for the U.K. for the next 10-15 years to recycle this massive amount of waste to generate power or electricity for many uses.
Carbon Spent Nuclear Waste
After a long time of about 30 years, scientists successfully went inside the plant, not in the reactor portion, but in the carbon spent storage area. We can remove this spent carbon now, and a source of electricity generation. One of the lead researchers, Tom Scott from the University of Bristol, preferred the encapsulated radioactive nuclear waste inside diamonds. Through which graphite becomes convertible into long-lasting and more tolerant electricity through diamond batteries. More diamonds will make more current even at the same radioactivity of C-14.
Moreover, Tom Scott added, “Over the past few years we have been developing ultra-low powered sensors that harvest energy from radioactive decay.” He is also the director of South West Nuclear Hub.
The secret lies in the process of harvesting the radioactive carbon-14 isotope, which will obtain from the plant’s spent graphite. According to Scott, they can convert the graphite carbon into diamonds in the factory where the decommissioned nuclear waste material of the plant is present.
The half-life of carbon is over 5,000 years, which is thousands of times more than the hearing aid battery, or you can say the pair of AAAs used to power remote control. The diamond is the wrapping material of radioactive carbon, so there is no chance of its breakdown.
Usage and Applications
Scott and his team have tested prototype diamond batteries in volcanoes. These batteries are indeed handy as they manage to survive through harsh conditions of temperatures.
In Medical Surgeries
We can use these batteries for pacemakers, where they can reduce the number of surgical intrusions for its change. Diamond batteries are a game-changer device in the field of medical and science.
In Space Crafts
You can use batteries made up of nuclear waste, for space-flights. Because it has the potential to switch massive nonrefundable fuel reserves. It will run without any other external interference for 5000 years. This tiny and long-lasting power source is of great potential, particularly in outer space. Resultantly, small supporter rockets can readdress the International Space Station.
In Small Devices
There is no need for wiring or conductors for current transfer; only chemical reaction takes place, which generates a low and continuous electrical current through nuclear waste. It is an excellent replacement for our conventional batteries.
In Coupled with Rechargeable Batteries
Diamond batteries, when coupled with a modern conventional rechargeable battery, it enables the product of self-renewing packs, allowing them to use for higher output batteries.
The Berkeley power plant is going to be the first commercial nuclear power plant in the world. These power plants also produce material that generates nuclear weapon fuel form nuclear waste. Because of this property, also known as “Breeder Reactors.” The U.S. had the 1st breeder reactor in 1951, but over time in the Nuclear age, it becomes widespread. A breeder reactor can generate enough fuel, almost double its amount. You can say that it multiplies like neon-glowing bunnies. Well, these are not strong and vigorous enough to yield as much as a commercial power source does.
This revolution focused on the study of various sources of energy, particularly nuclear waste. These technological innovations make daily life more convenient and pleasant for everyone. The people depend on technology and focus more on innovations. The words of Scott “Diamonds Are Forever” are, however, valid.