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Nucular Unwaste Electricity

Nucular waste crispies covered with photo voltaic like material
  [vote for,

This is the second half of the idea.

The first half would be research into how much energy is typically emitted from the radiation of a certain amount (per weight or volume) of nuclear waste, could it be retrieved via PV or similar technology and turned into electricity and if so at what cost and for how long can we expect a return on this.

So back to the second half of this NUE idea, assuming the first half results in amazingly high amounts of energy at an amazingly low cost: Special robots immune to the heat and radiation take the nuclear waste and before encasing it for the dump location, they create small slabs of the material, covered in the PV (or PV like) material and then wired up and out so that each waste crate turns into a giant battery supplying power for years to come.

The only problem now is how to get a long enough wire to the bottom of the Mariana trench and how to fix the contacts when an octopus accidentally pulls the wire. (Above ground that would be considered "a bug", but down there its not considered as a fish either).

pashute, Mar 14 2018


       I suspect that the available power won't be very much. Consider the fact that the "hottest" waste is stored in pools of water until it has decayed somewhat. These pools do get warm, but we're not talking about hundreds of litres of boiling water. That means that the power available from even the hottest waste is on the order of kilowatts (?), not megawatts. And this only lasts for ? months? or so, until the short-halflife isotopes have decayed.   

       Nuclear batteries are used for spacecraft, where modest amounts of power must be produced for long periods of time. I think there are thermal modules (that use the heat of decay to generate power thermoelectrically) and also beta-capture devices (that use the electrons from beta decay directly).
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 14 2018

       "Nucular" ???
xenzag, Mar 14 2018

       “Noo-clee-er wessels.”
RayfordSteele, Mar 14 2018

       A lot of nuclear waste is in advantageous oxidation states... could burn it...?
bs0u0155, Mar 14 2018

       Is an electiricy the sort of government they had on Naboo?
RayfordSteele, Mar 14 2018

       This idea is basically about a type of fluorescence. Find a substance that absorbs gamma rays and radiates visible light, and then use photovoltiacs to convert that light to electricity. (Note most fluorescent materials absorb ultraviolet light and radiate visible light.)   

       I suspect it might be necessary to accomplish this in stages. Substance 1 absorbs gammas and radiates X-rays; Substance 2 absorbs X-rays and radiates ultraviolet; Substance 3 is an ordinary fluorescent substance.
Vernon, Mar 14 2018

       But, [Vernon], there are already more efficient ways to generate electricity from radiation.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 14 2018

       [MaxwellBuchanan], how could you possibly forget that this is the HalfBakery?
Vernon, Mar 15 2018

       Thanks [Rayford]. I fixed that. [xen], its so that when I find out how bad this idea is, I could blame it on the 2nd Bush administration. But wait! Didn't [max] just kill the idea. Why are we still discussing it?
pashute, Mar 15 2018

       BetaVotaics and similar energy-capture technologies are Baked and WKTE.   

       Your puny human science has not yet developed the hardened semiconductor systems capable of that sort of energy conversion, but it's merely a matter of time, effort, resources, heartache, and paying us huge amounts of money to get there.
8th of 7, Mar 15 2018


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