Of course, the most talked-about cause for concern of this energy source is the risk of accidents. But the other major red flag is nuclear waste: heavily toxic by-products that take millennia to degrade, must be safely stored in specific disposal sites, and are pretty much impossible to recycle. (Some estimates suggest the US nuclear industry spends up to $100 million a year to deal with waste.)
But recent efforts are showing major progress in finding viable solutions. One comes from California-based company NDB, which says it’s found a way to reuse radioactive waste to produce green, self-powered batteries that have the potential to shake up the energy ecosystem as we know it.
It’s not clear yet if the technology can be produced for a mass market or will be commercially viable: so far, NDB has only presented a proof of concept and will work to deliver a commercial prototype once its labs reopen after the pandemic.
Still, if all goes well, here’s how they say it would work:
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