Radioactive diamonds could keep perpetual calendars running forever


Researchers at the University of Bristol have pioneered a technique that creates diamonds from nuclear waste.

The black diamonds would be radioactive, which the scientists say makes them a source of electricity that could be used to power small devices like pacemakers, aerospace components and watches for over 5000 years.

Bristol University suggests that the discovery could solve some of the problems of nuclear waste, clean electricity generation and battery life.


Unlike the majority of electricity-generation technologies, which use energy to move a magnet through a coil of wire to generate a current, the man-made diamond is able to produce a charge simply by being placed in close proximity to a radioactive source.

Tom Scott, Professor in Materials in the University’s Interface Analysis Centre, said: “There are no moving parts involved, no emissions generated and no maintenance required, just direct electricity generation.  By encapsulating radioactive material inside diamonds, we turn a long-term problem of nuclear waste into a nuclear-powered battery and a long-term supply of clean energy.”

“We envision these batteries to be used in situations where it is not feasible to charge or replace conventional batteries. Obvious applications would be in low-power electrical devices where long life of the energy source is needed, such as pacemakers, satellites, high-altitude drones or even spacecraft,” Professor Scott continues.

“There are so many possible uses that we’re asking the public” to come up with suggestions of how they would utilise this technology by using #diamondbattery.”


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