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NDB Nuclear Waste Battery Lasts A Lifetime

Sometimes companies come up with crazy, science-fictional claims for their products. By "science-fictional" I mean the idea sounds like some sort of obvious wish-fulfillment from the mind of an sf writer.

For example, Robert Heinlein had the idea of a Shipstone in his 1982 novel Friday, which was a battery that lasted for years or decades.

The Shipstone complex is mammoth, all right, because they supply cheap power to billions of people who want cheap power and want more of it every year. But it is not a monopoly because they don't own any power; they just package it and ship it around to wherever people want it...
(Read more about Shipstones)

How could such a thing be possible?

Enter a California-based battery company that says successful early test results recently competed on a nano-diamond battery brings them closer to making such a thing possible.

The key to their revolutionary batteries is radioactive nuclear waste. There are massive quantities of leftover nuclear waste from nuclear plant facilities. Such waste is extremely toxic, lasts thousands of years and poses a challenge when it comes to disposing of it (burying and encasing it) safely.

The company, NDB, says it can safely utilize this waste to generate power in its nano diamond batteries. It can achieve this by processing graphite nuclear waste into a pure form and then converting it into diamonds. As the waste product enveloped by the diamond decays, it interacts with the carbon to generate a small electric current.

Depending on the power drain, the battery, which never needs recharging, would last for a user's lifetime, and beyond.

It could be used for common mobile devices, medical products, satellites and could provide energy in hard-to-reach locations or remote areas where routine maintenance would be difficult.

(Via Techxplore.)

Golden Age writer Edmond Hamilton had a similar idea in his 1940 novel Revolt on the Tenth World:

"Solid power" was, he knew, the most super-valuable substance in the solar system. For it wasn't really a substance at all, but compressed energy "frozen" by temporary transformation into artificial atoms.

Trillions of units of power could be compressed thus into an inch-square cube of what looked like blue-white ice. And a suitable transformer would, when desired, turn it back into almost limitless power.
(Read more about solid power)

Apparently, NDB has proof-of-concept and expects to produce a prototype in two years. Critics wonder if the power density will be sufficient and of course there are safety concerns.

But if you can't dream, what's the point?

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/15/2020)

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