Campus Watch: Bristol University develops new technology to make nuclear waste useful

How do you deal with nuclear waste? Turn it into a diamond battery of course!

A team of physicists and chemists at the University of Bristol have developed new technology that harnesses nuclear waste to generate electricity.

They have created a man-made diamond which, when placed in a radioactive field, generates a small electrical current.

The developers hope that the new technology could be used to solve the problem of nuclear waste, clean electricity generation and battery life.

diamond-batteryIn a statement, the university said that the man-made diamond can produce a charge simply by being placed in proximity to carbon-14 radiation, compared to the majority of electricity-generating technologies, which use energy to move a magnet through a coil of wire.

Despite their low power, relative to current batteries, the life time of the batteries could revolutionise powering devices over long time periods, with a carbon-14 battery reaching 50 per cent power after 5730 years.

The innovation was presented at the Cabot Institute, the university’s flagship cross-disciplinary research institute, in its annual lecture, ‘Ideas to Change the World’, on November 25.

Jonathan Chard

(Image: Popular MechanicsUniversity of Bristol)

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