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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District


US startup has combined radioactive isotopes from nuclear waste with ultra-slim layers of nanodiamond to create a battery that purportedly can 28,000 years, Tibi Puiu reported for ZME Science last week.

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The California firm said their NDB for Nano Diamond Battery is a “high-power diamond-based alpha, beta, and neutron voltaic battery.” The energy comes from waste graphite that was previously used in graphite-cooled nuclear reactors. The radioactive graphite is encased in layers of nano-thin, single crystalline diamond, which act both as a semiconductor and heat sink, Puiu explained.

Diamond is the hardest material known to man. It also has the highest energy conductivity, meaning it quickly transfers heat from the radioactive graphite. So the diamond layers not only collect charge, but also prevent radiation leakage.

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Since the carbon-14 isotopes have half-life times in the range of thousands of years and diamonds are virtually indestructible, NDB felt confident making this bombastic marketing claim.

“This battery has two different merits,” NDB CEO and co-founder Nima Golsharifi said in an interview with Future Net-Zero.

“One is that it uses nuclear waste and converts it into something good. And the second is that it runs for a much longer time than the current batteries.”

The product is supposed to come in two versions. The “forever” version that is supposed to last 28,000 years before it runs out of charge. This hard-core version is meant for niche applications, such as deep space where it could power instruments onboard spacecraft and satellites.

Science & technology: Scientist using a microscope in laboratory in the financial district.

These spacecraft, for instance, could be sent to other star systems on centuries-long voyages and they would still have enough power to beam back messages.

There is also a consumer version, meant for powering electric vehicles, smartphones, and other small devices.

Since the graphite would be wrapped in multiple coatings of synthetic diamond, there would be no radiation leaking out of your phone. NDB even claims that the radiation levels emitted by the cells will be less than those emitted by the human body.

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