What comes to your mind when you hear nuclear energy? Is it the towering stacks of concrete towers emitting smoke 24/7? Or is it the infamous Chernobyl incident which led to the displacement of hundreds of individuals from their homes to avoid the eventual harmful fallout? Or how about the gigantic mushroom clouds caused by the detonation of nuclear-powered bombs that could lead to the destruction of the world as we know it?
Touted as one of the most important and groundbreaking discoveries in science, nuclear energy has been through a lot. With its power, it can help build nations and lead them to economic growth and prosperity. On the other hand, its enormous potential can also be used for weapons of mass destruction that could lead to the loss of millions-worth of properties, countless loss of lives, as well as leaving a massive hole in our moral consciousness.
Nations all over the world have acknowledged this double-edged sword nature of this and thus have slowly walked away from this form of energy. This led to the conduct of several summits and led to the signing of accords and agreements between nations promising to limit and eventually eliminate our world in this potential detriment to our existence.
One good example is the energy sector. Seen as a good alternative for fossil fuels, countries all over the globe built up several plants in their respective lands in order to use this new form of fuel to bolster their nation’s economic activity. However, incidents such as the Three Mile Island nuclear accident turned sour the public’s support and sentiment towards the harnessing of nuclear energy.
As the world is embracing cleaner energy alternatives and the rate of construction of nuclear power plants has subsided over the years, aging plants have left a problem that a team of researchers would want to address.
California-based NDB company is in the development of a battery technology that will use recycled nuclear waste to power it. Using hazardous graphite nuclear reactor parts, this material is a high-grade nuclear waste that is extremely dangerous, hard, and costs a lot of money to store and maintain, as Loz Blain of News Atlas reports. With an extensive half-life, a potential catastrophe involving this material could lead to irreversible damage to nearby areas as well as the living organisms residing in it. Sounds familiar?
The energy startup hopes to change the energy industry with this technology by increasing the energy density batteries carry with them. The company suggests, as Jon Christian of the_byte shares, that their battery tech has a lot of possible uses ranging from powering different items such as electric vehicles (EVs). They also claim that it is safer, less expensive compared to current battery models, and can be used in many forms and factors.
Yet still, in its infancy stages, research and development are still underway but tests conducted on it at the Cambridge University and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory showed that the battery prototype has registered a 40% battery charge. Christian reports that if the battery reaches its full potential, its charge could last for ten years to up to 28,000 years.
Company executives are optimistic about the situation and hope to produce and put out a working battery in the next two years. They also claim that they are the leader in the technology with its patents already under processing and pending for approval.
The claims may be too good to be true, however, industry experts and enthusiasts have definitely taken notice. As Christian concludes in his article, ‘if what the company’s execs are saying holds up, it could be a game-changer’. And we couldn’t agree with that more.