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Author Topic: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?  (Read 3885 times)

Colin Bishop

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Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« on: October 08, 2009, 07:19:27 pm »

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dougal99

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2009, 09:16:40 pm »

Presumambly you have to fit them inside the lead ballast  :police:
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sheerline

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2009, 11:02:29 pm »

Nuclear powered model subs may become a reality!
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The long Build

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2009, 11:11:06 pm »

The report says it uses them already for some pacemakers ?  so what of shielding would they have..
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sheerline

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2009, 09:19:30 am »

It may be that the radiation levels are so low as to be negligable and shielding may not be an issue. The batteries used thus far are apparently tiny, suggesting the power output is miniscule. I don't understand anything about what is considered a harmful level of radiation, but the use of Uranium paint on clock and watch dials to make them luminous was banned on a health issue. The radiation itself was not so much a problem but it was considered dangerous from a handling point of view and disposal as waste. We all used to have luminous dials on watches and bedside clocks years ago and are still here to tell the tale . 
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tigertiger

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2009, 09:41:43 am »

I think the initial problem with the radioluminescent paint on the clocks was related to the amount of paint that was initially used. The paint did use a radioactive isotope.
Some people did I believe get burned. But I think you are right. The main concern would have been for safe manufacture and disposal of industrial products.

Radioluminescent paint is still in use in many applications such as warning signs. These paints glow without being exposed to light first. They are still used in divers watches I believe.

Most watches and clocks moved over to using phosphorescent (aka 'glow in the dark') paint. This is still used for kiddies toys, and the stars you put on the kids bedroom ceiling.
Phosphorescent paint is used to mark light switches for domestic lighting in China. Usefull for nocturnal visits to the bathroom, or fridge.

Most watches and clocks have more recently moved over to backlit displays, and are battery run.
Sad really as I am looking for an old clock to salvage gear wheels from.
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malcolmfrary

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2009, 12:00:43 pm »

Could be that the radiation is being captured and turned into electric.  Much less radiation into the rest of the world.  It could also be a restriction on the thing that it has to be in constant use after manufacture to prevent radiation being emitted, due to the capture medium becoming saturated.
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Circlip

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2009, 12:20:17 pm »

The manufacturing health issue was that the "Dial and Hand" painters licked and spun the ends of the brushes in their mouths to get a fine point on them before dipping into the paint media, they unfortunately didn't clean them effectivley between appLICKations.

  Regards  Ian.
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The long Build

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2009, 01:01:15 pm »

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sheerline

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2009, 02:06:01 pm »

Circlip, that is very true. There was a company in Canada called 'Radium Dial, who used to produce all kinds of luminous dials using this material. Because of the practice you outlined, many of the workers became ill and keeled over with radioative poisoning. The factory was eventually closed but because the building fabric and grounds on which it stood were so contaminated, nothing has been built there since. There were law suits flying everywhere at the time.
The radioactive isotope battery is certainly  a very interesting concept, there are millions of tons of radioactive waste around the world, imagine if one could extract the last remnants of energy from decaying waste using a large scale version of this technology, it could certainly impact our power consumption requirements if we did not have to re-charge batteries anymore. When you think of the millions of phone chargers alone, which are not only charging normally, but get left plugged in even when they are not in use, that probably amounts to a fair chunk of power being sapped from the grids.
It would certainlybe interesting to come back in a hundred years just to see how all the present knowledge and technology has impacted the world in general. I guess politics may hold back the march forward though.
 
Now if only they can devise a mini wind turbine which fits in a politicians windpipe...... I think I have already decided where the mains plug should be located!:o

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malcolmfrary

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2009, 02:19:24 pm »

Quote
Now if only they can devise a mini wind turbine which fits in a politicians windpipe
Conveniently taking the power leads out down the trouser legs.........
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sheerline

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2009, 02:23:48 pm »

I had rather imagined a position slightly higher up, conveniently placed at the rear below podium height so the cables didn't show. Special trousers would have to be devised so there would be no need to undress prior to giving a speech... simply plug and go!!
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tigertiger

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2009, 02:58:20 pm »

The manufacturing health issue was that the "Dial and Hand" painters licked and spun the ends of the brushes in their mouths to get a fine point on them before dipping into the paint media, they unfortunately didn't clean them effectivley between appLICKations.

  Regards  Ian.

The Ready Brek children no doubt.
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Niall

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2009, 10:32:30 am »

The nuclear battery turns the heat generated by radioactive decay into electricity using thermocouples. These have been used for 30-40 years on space probes etc.
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Jimmy James

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2009, 02:18:05 pm »

The thought occurs ----would they be powerful enough to power the family car or a lorry? That would make them very useful and make a big dent in the global warming ...
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2009, 02:38:38 pm »

Quote
The thought occurs ----would they be powerful enough to power the family car or a lorry? That would make them very useful and make a big dent in the global warming ...
Freebooter

New definition of a "hot rod"?  ok2
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Niall

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2009, 08:04:26 pm »

JimmyJames please read my previous post.
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Ghost in the shell

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2009, 02:09:09 pm »

Conveniently taking the power leads out down the trouser legs.........

why send them down the troiser legs, when around the crotch will do just fine, every time they talk a zap to the balls will result, that way the said politician will learn not to talk and listen to his constituants.
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malcolmfrary

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2009, 09:52:06 am »

why send them down the troiser legs, when around the crotch will do just fine, every time they talk a zap to the balls will result, that way the said politician will learn not to talk and listen to his constituants.

The intention was to make politicians useful, not to give them a deviant way of enjoying themselves.
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Jimmy James

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2009, 12:37:47 pm »

Niall,
I thought the batterys in the space probes were mainly supplying micro volts to operate comm's equipment and were topped up by solar cells so the question is still can they safely power a car or lorry for extended peorids (say at least year or two with out recharging) and would they be economicly vibal, Batterys used in the world today, as we all know are still very primitve and heavy have a limited life. A safe long life atomic battery or fuel cell that was relativly in expencive would be a world saver. :-))
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Niall

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2009, 02:02:20 pm »

Nuclear batteries on space probes like the Viking Mars landers were the vehicle's main power supply.

To make such batteries you need enriched uranium or plutonium. The energy need to make and transport these fuels is quite huge and most of this comes from fossil fuels. As a result these power packs are only used for applications where weight, size and accessability are issues. It is far more efficient to use these fuels in nuclear power stations as the energy release is far higher when a controlled fission chain reaction is used.

The other problems of using nuclear batteries for cars is making the battery crash proof would cause more road deaths as cars would not be able to crumple as they do today, also a terrorist organisation would only need a few such batteries to get enough material for a crude nuclear bomb.

I agree that fuel cell technology, IF enough hydrogen could be made from non-CO2 producing sources to fulfill demand, would be the way to go.
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Jimmy James

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2009, 09:03:46 pm »

thanks Niall,
 My old brain can understand all that
Jimmy
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Admhawk

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2009, 10:21:37 pm »

I'm not an expert on these batteries, but I know radiation. The amount of radiation coming from them (being so small) would be very very small. Larger batteries to power a car would be more challenging as the amount of radioactive material would exceed current licensing levels required by international agreements. I doubt they would be allowed to proceed.

As for using radioactive waste, it is usually so high in dose rates coming off it that you can't get close enough to make any use of it. Anything that is low dose, would probably be mixed with other materials making their industrial use difficult, expensive or impossible.
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Jimmy James

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2009, 05:52:22 pm »

Please correct me if I'm wrong as its been a long time sense I took Chemestry at school But I think it's relativity simple to make hydrogen by passing an electric current through water --- so by using a nuclear power power plant --- no co2 ???
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Nuclear Batteries - just what we need?
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2009, 06:06:49 pm »

Quote
But I think it's relativity simple to make hydrogen by passing an electric current through water

Nuclear subs do this but they keep the oxygen for breathing and discharge the hydrogen overboard!

Colin
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