Brainy Quote of the Day

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Diamonds Are Forever...

Image Source:, a similar photo is also at the link below.
Topics: Condensed Matter Physics, Nuclear Physics, Nuclear Power

Well, not exactly forever, but at least past our lifetimes.

Scientists from the University of Bristol Cabot Institute are hitting two birds with one stone, thanks to their lab-made diamond that can generate electricity and is made from upcycled radioactive waste.

In nuclear power plants, radioactive uranium is split in a process called nuclear fission. When the atoms are split, heat is generated, and that heat then vaporizes water into steam that turns electricity-generating turbines.

A severe downside of this process is the creation of dangerous radioactive waste, which ultimately deposits in the graphite core that it is housed in. Today, this nuclear contamination is safely stored away until it stops being radioactive…and with a half-life of 5,730 years, that takes quite a while.

The scientists found a way to heat the radioactive graphite to release most of the radioactivity in a gaseous form. The gas is subjected to high temperature and low pressures that turn it into a man-made diamond.

Diamond Batteries Made of Nuclear Waste Can Generate Power For Thousands of Years
Author: Jess Vilvestre, Editor: Patrick Caughill

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