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Using Radioactive Waste Sites for Power Generation
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.
Nuclear sandwich battery
Hold the mayo. [Amos Kito, Oct 04 2004]
Berkely Study on Thermal Effects
here is a link to the site that delineates the thermal effects. [makulais, Oct 04 2004]
Stirling convertor link from the article.
(Use [link] to create these, don't put URLs into your main text. Thanks!) [jutta] [Worldgineer, Oct 04 2004]
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||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".
||I'd like a link for information on this site in Nevada/Utah for the dump. Specifically, something that mentions the ground warming significantly.
||[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.
||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.
||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?
||Just make it out of teflon.
||Radioactive waste would be contained better, too.