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Using Radioactive Waste Sites for Power Generation
  [vote for,

Apparently they have already developed batteries that run off of radioactive materials, but we still have a huge amount of radioactive waste to dispose of. Currently a disposal site is being developed in nevada/utah to hold the material. The ground around it is supposed to heat up to 140-150 degrees over the next few decades and retain that temperature for the next few thousand years, minimum.

With NASA's new technological breakthrough's in the Stirling Engine, a closed one, sitting right on the site would be capable of producing electricity for decades (centuries) with no maintenance required, (a desirable trait in that environment). By creating a large array of these engines, sufficient power could be created to run at least a portion of our current demands, at minimal cost. With the decrease in cost attributed to large scale production, these units could also be installed over geologically active hot spots for a small investement cost.

If adequate shielding were developed, smaller powerplants would be feasible for remote locations. All a stirling engine needs is a heat source, and with large quantities of radioactive waste available, all that is required is a safe means of translating that heat to power.


yell at your government representatives to make this a priority.


makulais, Oct 14 2003

Nuclear sandwich battery http://www.halfbake...0sandwich_20battery
Hold the mayo. [Amos Kito, Oct 04 2004]

Berkely Study on Thermal Effects http://www-esd.lbl....ts/thermalload.html
here is a link to the site that delineates the thermal effects. [makulais, Oct 04 2004]

Stirling convertor link from the article. http://www.grc.nasa.../tmsb/stirling.html
(Use [link] to create these, don't put URLs into your main text. Thanks!) [jutta] [Worldgineer, Oct 04 2004]


       An idea I had along these same lines would be to locate "geothermal" energy plants over those perpetual coal fires in Pennsylvania. Technically, this, as well as buried waste, is all "geothermal".
bungston, Oct 14 2003

       I'd like a link for information on this site in Nevada/Utah for the dump. Specifically, something that mentions the ground warming significantly.
phoenix, Oct 14 2003

       [UB]: The only problem with putting the things on top of every parliamentary chamber, is that we'd only get power a few days out of the year.
Cedar Park, Oct 14 2003

       I'm sorry, I did not correctly remember the temperature rise, I had seen it on a television special a year or so ago. The temperature is expected to rise to 97 degrees celcius! Here is a link to the berkeley study.
makulais, Oct 15 2003

       Yes but that 97°C never reaches the surface and what heat gets near the surface takes a while to get there. Can we build a water loop in the ground that will last 10,000 years?
phoenix, Oct 15 2003

       Just make it out of teflon.
Worldgineer, Oct 15 2003


       Radioactive waste would be contained better, too.
DesertFox, May 28 2004


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