Innovation News: Radioactive Diamond Battery

Radioactive Diamond Batteries by P-O Marchand


Recently, a research team at the University of Bristol has created a way to use a type of nuclear waste made to generate electricity in a nuclear-powered battery .

As you maybe know diamonds are made from carbon under high pressure,  a process that can be done synthetically. If you now make them from radioactive carbon-14 extracted from nuclear waste, a small electric current will be generated, A battery could then last thousands of years with no emissions, radioactive or otherwise.  

The batteries produce very low power, but they have no moving parts, no emissions of any type (including radiation), need no maintenance, do not need to be recharged and will operate for thousands of years. This will probably be the futur.

These batteries would have a very specific purpose – to generate low power and to have an extremely long life. A standard twenty-gram non-rechargeable AA battery stores about 13,000 Joules and will run out of power in about 24 hours of continuous operation. One diamond  battery would produce 15 Joules per day, much less than a AA battery.

What is very interesting is that the amount of radioactivity in each diamond battery is a lot less than in a single banana. I wonder how much those batteries will cost.