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Penny-Sized Nuclear Batteries Developed

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the is-that-a-nuke-in-your-pocket dept.

Power 444

pickens writes "Nuclear batteries that produce energy from the decay of radioisotopes are an attractive proposition for many applications because the isotopes that power them can provide a useful amount of current for hundreds of years at power densities a million times as high as standard batteries. Nuclear batteries have been used for military and aerospace applications for years, their large size has limited their general usage. But now a research team at the University of Missouri has developed a nuclear battery the size of a penny that could be used to power micro- and nano-electromechanical systems. The researchers' innovation is not only in the battery's size, but also that the batteries use a liquid semiconductor rather than a solid semiconductor. 'The critical part of using a radioactive battery is that when you harvest the energy, part of the radiation energy can damage the lattice structure of the solid semiconductor,' says Jae Wan Kwon. 'By using a liquid semiconductor, we believe we can minimize that problem.' The batteries are safe under normal operating conditions. 'People hear the word "nuclear" and think of something very dangerous,' says Kwon. 'However, nuclear power sources have already been safely powering a variety of devices, such as pacemakers, space satellites, and underwater systems.'"

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444 comments

ohhhhh... (5, Funny)

0110011001110101 (881374) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691619)

so this is what Iran has been up to... now it all makes sense.

Re:ohhhhh... (2, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691731)

I know this a joke, but it does remind me of something. One of the arguments that people on the far right have tried to use to convince the public that Iran is trying to build bombs and not energy is: "Iran has so much oil, why would they care about nuclear energy?"

Easy, sherlock... they aren't going to have oil forever. Iran might be thinking ahead. They might not want to make the same mistake that the U.S. made it comes to oil dependency.

Having said that, I still think that Iran's program is to make a bomb... but I think that argument is idiotic.

Re:ohhhhh... (5, Informative)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691883)

Iran has crude oil. What they *don't* have is gasoline...fuel oil...asphalt...and so on. Iran has very little in the way of refining capability (it didn't help that a large chunk of their refineries got blown up in the Iraq-Iran war). In fact, one of the sanctions that's been discussed for Iran is cutting off their gasoline supply.

Re:ohhhhh... (3, Interesting)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691987)

Easy, sherlock... they aren't going to have oil forever. Iran might be thinking ahead. They might not want to make the same mistake that the U.S. made it comes to oil dependency.

Or, they could figure that it's bloody stupid to burn their own oil for power when they could sell it on the market as global supplies dwindle and/or demand rises. Better to use nuclear to generate electricity and use the fossil fuels to provide revenue for the future.

Re:ohhhhh... (4, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692007)

"Iran has so much oil, why would they care about nuclear energy?"

For the same reason Canada does.

Canada has almost as much oil as Iran and has a large civil nuclear power program. Here in Ontario we get about half our electricity from nuclear power, despite all that oil in Alberta and elsewhere.

So anyone bringing this point up about Iran is just demonstrating their complete ignorance of the world, and disqualifying themselves from being taken seriously regarding American foreign policy.

Re:ohhhhh... (2, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692133)

Having said that, I still think that Iran's program is to make a bomb...

      Nahh, having a bomb is really a fringe benefit. Pakistan has bombs, North Korea has bombs, and it doesn't stop those countries from being shit-holes. Having a bomb does not immediately confer upon you God-like abilities. Though it does tend to make warmongering politicians pause a little.

    Iran would rather have our wealth by maximizing sale of crude, and keep on exporting oil. Hell when oil was at $150/bbl I think every country in the world was seriously thinking about building a nuclear reactor. And the Iranians were probably crying at all the "lost profits" due to domestic consumption.

      Of course, the American president has just won the peace prize. So if he says it's ok to attack Iran, that must make it ok.

Re:ohhhhh... (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692575)

Having a bomb does not immediately confer upon you God-like abilities. Though it does tend to make warmongering politicians pause a little.

Having a bomb makes it far less likely that your neighbors will invade you.

Cars??? (4, Interesting)

clonan (64380) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691627)

So lets scale these up and replace the power pakcs on cars!

I would love to be able to drive for a few hundred years between recharges!

Re:Cars??? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29691667)

Haha, yeah. Until Joe Public hears the word "nuclear" and shits a brick.

Re:Cars??? (5, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692121)

So don't call it "nuclear decay." That just sounds bad all around.

Use a tried and proven practice by inventing a euphemism for "nuclear decay." How about "elemental ebbing," or "EE" for short?

Joe Public would definitely buy something labeled, "Powered by EE, as in grEEn!"

Re:Cars??? (2, Insightful)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692467)

Yep, I'm old enough to remember when an MRI scan was a NMR (Nuclear magnetic resonance) scan. The marketroids changed that as soon as the scans were out of the lab.

Re:Cars??? (5, Interesting)

Bai jie (653604) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692179)

You know, maybe we need a new word for nuclear. A good old rebranding like corporations do when their name is now met with general public distrust (regardless if the distrust is warranted). We can still call all bombs nuclear, but from now on we should use the term Hydro-Exothermic power plants to describe new power plants. Or something that makes people think of steam instead of ZOMG radiation and bombs.

Re:Cars??? (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692475)

You mean like how Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) imaging was renamed Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in the health care market?

I say we go back to Atomic.

Re:Cars??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29692357)

Don't know why they would. It's all marketing. Those people who still wear watches are perfectly comfortable with tritium decaying constantly near their wrist.

"Hey, you know that cool stuff that makes you watch glow in the dark? Now it powers your car!"

Re:Cars??? (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691777)

If it were that big, the lead shielding required would make an SUV look light.

(and before anyone screams "troll!", let me quote TFA: "but the particles' extremely high energies means...")

('course, I could be way the hell wrong about it, but it seems that a car-sized isotope battery would churn out a hellish amount of particles considering the amperage rating).

Re:Cars??? (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692005)

NASA Calls this RTG [wikipedia.org] . We need just a cheap one (plutonium is expensive) and better cooled (space RTGs throws a considerable amount of heat. Not a problem on space, but maybe cause problems inside one car)

Re:Cars??? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692195)

Actually I bet this is a based on beta emissions and not heat. So it is basically a direct radiation to electricity conversion. You could use tritium as the source or any other beta emitter.
If it is I don't know if I would want it implated in a pace maker. All the common beta emitters are things you really don't want in you system. They are all biologically active.

Re:Cars??? (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692397)

Direct ratiation to electricity? Even better! Maybe cause problens on peacemakers, but imagine that one a little bigger (maybe multicells on one package) on a notebook? Cool notebook and years of operation

Re:Cars??? (1)

IvoryRing (1708) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692327)

You have this backwards, it's much easier to discard waste heat in a car than it is in space. Consider - you have a multi-year mission, surrounded by an insulator that does not allow convective or conductive cooling. In fact, the only practical cooling methods are A.) heating part of your mass and shedding it, and B.) radiating it (as signal or as noise) at some EM frequency.

Re:Cars??? (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691811)

power densities a million times as high as standard batteries

It sounds like they would almost serve in cars as-is.

Re:Cars??? (2, Insightful)

Robin47 (1379745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691867)

Recharge? How do you recharge a battery that depends on the decay of radioisotopes?

Re:Cars??? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692009)

Well you'd need a Mr. Fusion machine. Then it would be easy.

But since nuclear fusion is a dream unachievable outside mathematical formulas, billion dollar labs where they can produce a picogram or so of new stuff, and THE SUN, I doubt that it's going to happen anytime soon.

Re:Cars??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29692383)

Don't forget thermonuclear bombs. You can get fusion there, too!

Re:Cars??? (2, Interesting)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692251)

You don't recharge it. You use it for a thousand years, then throw it into a landfill. Or a nearby star.

Re:Cars??? (2, Insightful)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691933)

i was thinking more along the lines of a bios battery that will last until the next ice age.

Re:Cars??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29692333)

Damn you bios checksum error!

Re:Cars??? (3, Interesting)

Smegly (1607157) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691939)

The usual suspects [wikipedia.org] are already against it, regardless of whether the tech is viable or not... and in this case the said usual suspects only have to yell "Nuclear Threat!!" to an already scared population to keep this off your roadways, forever... whether its a valid fear or not [wikipedia.org]

Re:Cars??? (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692573)

I swear if that happens I'll start a campaign and website.

There's simply NO WAY that such a cool technology could not make it to market. It would be amazing for so many reasons.

Re:Cars??? (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691963)

Wake me when it's able to generate the 1.21 Gigawatts of electricity necessary to run my DeLorean's Flux Capacitor,...

Re:Cars??? No. Off-grid. (1)

Havokmon (89874) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692029)

Screw that. I can fit a car inside my house, so why not a couple stacks of these that take up 2 regrigerator spaces in the basement? I don't care if they're dime sized, for home use they could be car battery sized.

Rated in Nanoamps (2, Informative)

BigSlowTarget (325940) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692237)

It would be great to replace the power packs of everything with them, but they are currently rated in nanoamps of output and microvolts of potential. Scaling them up (and making them cost less than $1 million for a AA cell) is the challenge and its a big one that will take a lot of work.

Shielding isn't a big problem incidentally.From other articles one of the popular nuclear sources is tritium which is used on gunsights and stairwell markings. Half life is pretty short and shielding level required is skin (i.e. don't eat it or breath it).

This is impressive (5, Funny)

RealErmine (621439) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691637)

but I would be equally impressed by a penny that was the size of a nuclear power plant.

Re:This is impressive (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29691877)

A penny saved is a penny used to crush your foes. Or for giant gumballs.

Power density or energy? (1)

TopherC (412335) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691643)

The announcement says that these nuclear batteries have power densities a million times larger than standard batteries. That can't possibly be right unless it meant energy density instead.

Cool stuff even so!

Re:Power density or energy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29691893)

That just means they give five give watts in a microsecond and then die.

No biggie.

Re:Power density or energy? (3, Informative)

quantumphaze (1245466) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691957)

TFA mentions nothing about the actual power these things can put out.

A power source that lasts forever is suddenly not very useful if it only delivers a few milliwatts. I can see its uses, but it won't be replacing lithium ion batteries in phones and laptops any time soon.

Nuclear isn't the problem. (5, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691655)

Everything is safe under "normal conditions"

The problem is that normal people are fucking stupid. Imagine the shitstorm when someone disassembles one of these to "see what's inside."

--
BMO

Re:Nuclear isn't the problem. (1)

Publikwerks (885730) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691693)

...Or when a asshole who throws one into a fire. Still, worth the risk to run my ipod forever

Re:Nuclear isn't the problem. (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692267)

Still, worth the risk to run my ipod forever

So that now when your iPod explodes it leaves your shadow burned onto the wall?

Re:Nuclear isn't the problem. (0, Troll)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691701)

Which isn't all that much better with other kinds of batteries.

I, for one, would welcome such a thing in a Laptop or even the cell phone. Or imagine fully electric cars equipped with those things.

Re:Nuclear isn't the problem. (4, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691853)

Which isn't all that much better with other kinds of batteries.

It's one thing to clean up after someone drilled a hole in a Lithium battery and had it flame up.

It's another to decontaminate the livingroom, car, Starbucks counter the guy stopped at for his coffee, etc, because he got liquid radioactive semiconductor on his fingers and wiped it on his pants.

--
BMO

Re:Nuclear isn't the problem. (1)

speroni (1258316) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692315)

Actually cleaning up low level radiation like this isn't that hard. Plus you can tell when your done or not with a geiger counter.

There's already radioactive material in many electronics such as fire alarms. A link [digitalspy.co.uk] Not the most technical link, but it think it captures the spirit of the problem. And it contains a fun quote "If your smoke alarm is on fire you have bigger things to worry about"

Re:Nuclear isn't the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29692429)

Heck, I'd like to have more than 5 minutes of actual flying time on one of my indoor foamy-flier micro R/C helicopters. (Sure they say 10minutes, but half of that is in adjusting the thing to hover and fly straight. And that's with lithium polymer which seems to be the best energy density battery currently available for consumers.)

Behold the nerfy wrath upon my cats with my very own nuclear powered micro helicopter!

I could only imagine the time wasted if I could keep such a toy going for hours on end.

Re:Nuclear isn't the problem. (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691949)

Already been done [wikipedia.org] . Guess he was one of the first "researchers".

Re:Nuclear isn't the problem. (2, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692301)

I got modded "funny" for proposing a scenario where a guy contaminates everything he touches because he disassembled one of these types of battery.

They found traces of Po210 *everywhere* in the case of Litvinenko, even on the plane the assassin flew in. The assassin was trained in how to handle Po210 so he wouldn't kill himself yet he left traces of Po210 all the way from Moscow.

I know there are Po210 based anti-static brushes that professional photographers use. These are sealed, and your typical mouthbreather isn't likely to buy one or even know it exists.

These researchers would like to see these in consumer level devices and don't expect someone to take one of these apart? Naive at best. Get out of the flippin' lab once in a while, guys.

--
BMO

Re:Nuclear isn't the problem. (2, Interesting)

Lueseiseki (1189513) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691969)

Everything is safe under "normal conditions"

The problem is that normal people are fucking stupid. Imagine the shitstorm when someone disassembles one of these to "see what's inside."

-- BMO

Saying that is like implying that everything is intrinsically safe, and it's humans which will invariably mess things up just because it's possible. In a way you're right, people will do stupid things regardless, but things are designed/exist as (less) safer than other things. Guns kill people under normal conditions, knives cut people under normal conditions, tear gas aggrivates parts of peoples' eyes under normal conditions.

Re:Nuclear isn't the problem. (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692409)

Boulders falling from cliffs kill people under normal conditions. Ebola viruses kill people under normal conditions. Et cetera. Lots of things - including things that stupid people had nothing to do with - are inherently unsafe.

Re:Nuclear isn't the problem. (1)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692513)

Glow in the dark toys and stickers, as well as watches with phosphorescent hands, contain radioactive isotopes (mainly thorium). The amount of radioactive material in those batteries is likely on par with the aforementioned items. Remember that the intended use for those is to power extremely tiny devices that need to operate constantly, not to replace AA batteries, so the required amount of power is very small.

I thought we already had a BIG issue (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29691665)

With battery disposal?

Sure, the "nuclear" bit of a nuclear battery may be have enormous power potential, but batteries will wear out much sooner due to corrosion and other practical issues.

Disposing ordinary batteries in a safe and environmentaly friendly manner is already considered to be a big pain in the ass. Now imagine that instead of corroding, toxic, acid-leaking batteries we have to deal with corroding, radioactive, nuclear-fuel-leaking batteries.

Re:I thought we already had a BIG issue (2, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691825)

Battery disposal is the first thing that comes to mind (as well as the "idiot throwing one into a fire" that come up above these comments), however if you create batteries that last A LOT longer, doesn't disposal become *less* of a problem? It doesn't go away, but if the batteries last as long as advertised doesn't it mean we need a lot less space to store the waste (but the waste might be a heck of a lot more toxic)?

Pacemakers? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691733)

[...] nuclear power sources have already been safely powering a variety of devices, such as pacemakers [...]

Come on now, Iron Man isn't real!

Re:Pacemakers? (3, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691993)

Come on now, Iron Man isn't real!

That wasn't nuclear power, that was an Arc Reactor. Which is short for Story Arc Plot Hole Reactor. It runs on the writer's need for an infinite power source.

Ya Ok.. (3, Insightful)

drewsup (990717) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691761)

Just don't let Sony make them.. imagine the fireworks then!

Re:Ya Ok.. (2, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691885)

Yikes, I'd hate to have one of those batteries do a "China Syndrome" through my lap.

Then again, I could probably heat my greenhouse with one during winter.

Foundation (2, Interesting)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691881)

One of the things that always stuck out at me was the mini nuclear batteries in the Foundation series of books. I had just assumed such things were impossible and were just and artifact of the time the books were written in. Apparently my imagination just wasn't flexible enough.

Re:Foundation (1)

CoreDump (1715) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691965)

I thought of the same thing when I read the article. "Gee, that sounds like the miniaturized nuclear devices the Foundation created!". Science Fiction again becoming science reality. Cool.

Good (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691901)

Good, and now let me actually have a cellular phone that can actually be powered for 100s of years. Because I'm tired of these news articles that claim some new more powerful battery is invented. Batteries are NOT more powerful until I see a cellular phone that can run for months. Cellular phones today do NOT run any longer than 15 years ago so every of the so MANY articles about better batteries I've seen are all just lies. Plain damn LIES.

Re:Good (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691983)

Oh, you know darned well that "100s of years" is, like, on standby when you're in a totally great signal area. It'll still only last 4-6 hours if your surfing and playing flash games on it. ;-)

Re:Good (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692189)

> Good, and now let me actually have a cellular phone that can actually be powered for 100s of years

Yeah, because you'll keep using the same phone for hundreds of years.

Domestic terrorism has never been easier (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691903)

"The batteries are safe under normal operating conditions."

Ergo, instant nuclear bomb; just add sledge hammer. ;)

Re:Domestic terrorism has never been easier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29692073)

Nuclear != Nuclear Fission

Hit it with a sledge and you just make a radioactive mess on your workbench. At best a handful of these could be put into a more potent explosive and form a dirty bomb - designed to contaminate an area with radioactivity - but it wouldn't take out a city unless you made a bomb big enough to do that anyways.

And for the Secret Service and FBI reading this post because you saw "radioactive" "bomb" and "dirty bomb" this is a civil discussion between free Americans. Move along. /tinfoil

Re:Domestic terrorism has never been easier (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29692243)

Yeah, this isn't even close to accurate. Nuclear chain-reactions only occur under a very specific set of conditions, and some guy with a sledgehammer doesn't come close to qualifying.

I know you were half joking and not entirely serious, but it's this sort of ignorance that the idiotic population cling to as an argument not to use nuclear power, thereby holding us back for decades in using a plentiful, clean, and efficient source of power.

Of course, the same idiots that hate the pollution produced by coal power plants also hate nuclear. These idiots expect us to be gathering fart power across the globe and funneling it into a wind turbine to produce CLEAN ENERGY.

Oh wait, farts = methane = greenhouse gas. Can't use that then. Try harder next time, you stupid scientists! Meet my impossible demands whilst I rant and rave incoherently with the liberal arts degree I dropped out of because it was too hard!

Were I can buy one? (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691905)

I like to purchase one to my cellphone, one a little bigger to my notebook and... They have one big enought to power a Radeon 4870X2?

How much voltage/current? (4, Informative)

Air-conditioned cowh (552882) | more than 4 years ago | (#29691945)

Just curious. I had a quick look at the University website but couldn't find anything. This article gives a bit more info on it, http://engineering.missouri.edu/news/stories/2009/nuclear-battery-outstanding-at-conference/index.php [missouri.edu] .

Re:How much voltage/current? (3, Interesting)

Dan East (318230) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692167)

The "problem" is that the current would not be variable. The amount of electrons produced would be consistent (or perhaps slowly reduce as the elements decay). The article says that it contains a "million times as much charge as standard batteries". True, but it might take 100 years of decay to produce those electrons.
So this would be fine for something that draws a consistent amount of current, like a wristwatch (not counting the backlight), but for most applications this power source would have to be coupled with an actual battery or capacitor to store the continuously emitted electrons for use on demand, or to provide bursts of current, etc.

So this would be more like a trickle battery charger than an actual battery.

I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29691953)

Welcome our nuclear battery operated robot overlords!

Niche applications (3, Interesting)

Painted (1343347) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692013)

There are a number of niche applications where this could be incredibly useful. As others have said, pacemakers and other implanted or critical medical devices (I'm thinking defibrillators), but also emergency lighting and well, pretty much anything that has a larger, traditional battery pack that has to be trickle charged.

A fairly obvious application would be long-life smoke detectors, since they already contain radioactive materials. You could stick one up on a vaulted ceiling and forget about it for 10 years...

Re:Niche applications (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692109)

sudo mod this guy up. any number of chemical monitoring devices could benefit greatly from this sort of thing.

Vindicated. . . (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692183)

Ok, maybe I'm jumping the gun on this one, but in a recent /. article about phones not having enough battery life, I sort of tongue-in-cheek proposed atomic batteries [slashdot.org] for powering the phones. Maybe I'm not so far off the mark?

I'm not sure though - these batteries might not provide sufficiently high wattage to power the phones? Still, maybe you could have self-recharging cell phones? Couple one or two of these small atomic batteries with something more conventional, like Li-ions, (or, in the future, perhaps high-temperature superconductive storage rings) and you'd not have to worry about plugging your phone in at night. Maybe while one of these batteries couldn't provide enough power, if you created arrays of 6 or 8 of them, all packaged into the phone housing, maybe they could?

I guess now we know how Gordon Freeman's HEV suit recharges the flashlight.

I don't want one in my iPod (1)

srealm (157581) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692085)

They already glow with the batteries they have now! But at least that is a pink/red glow, I'm pretty sure an iPod glowing green would be a Bad Thing (tm).

That said, having the black/white iPod commercials change to black/green would be interesting. Kind of bring back the black/green monochrome monitor nostalga.

...submarine applications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29692125)

Penny-sized nuclear batteries for Penis-sized nuclear submarines.

Is that a tiny nuclear device in your pocket? (1)

popo (107611) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692185)

.... or are you just happy to see me?

[obligatory... i'm sorry]

Re:Is that a tiny nuclear device in your pocket? (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692447)

Hey! That's a good idea, actually.

Enough nuclear devices in enough pants pockets and you could helps solve the over-population problem! No more sperm to worry about!

Either that, our your children turn out hideously ugly.

Will it Blend / Will It Microwave? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29692231)

How long until someone tries it? I give it 3 days from public release.

No need for streetlights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29692249)

Does this mean I can get the green shine underneath my car without streetlights? Sweet!

Best Part of the Summary (3, Insightful)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692293)

'However, nuclear power sources have already been safely powering a variety of devices, such as pacemakers, space satellites, and underwater systems.'"

If this quote even reaches only one anti-nuclear nutjob and opens their eyes, just a little, to the benefits that nuclear energy can provide when handled safely and appropriately, then the world will be a slightly better place. This message needs to get spread around and stated by every single physicist, engineer, mathematician, and wrench monkey that works in any field associated with nuclear energy. It needs to be stated in every single press conference, peer-reviewed journal, and twitter feed by anyone talking about the subject that has any authority. Simply by throwing this short little blip into his discussion, Jae Wan Kwon has already earned more respect in my eyes than Michio Kaku...

Asimov Tech (1)

internic (453511) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692325)

You know, this sounds distinctly like the sort of power sources that were ubiquitous in a lot of Asimov's sci-fi, e.g., the foundation series. When I was reading that, I noted that he clearly thought that shortly everything in society would run on nuclear power. In one book, they even talked about the decay of a society until, gasp!, they went back to primitive fossil fuels. I figure that irrational fear of nuclear power and radiation is one reason why this has not come to pass, but maybe now it will.

Well thank goodness (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692335)

The US has tons of the stuff that we can tap as an alternative energy source. It gets produced as a byproduct of nuclear power generation, mixed in with the spent fuel.

Which is just sitting there.

Decaying.

And we may not reprocess it because of a directive by former President Jimmy Carter, who was afraid of "nucular proliferation" (yes, he pronounced it that way too).

Can somebody, ANYBODY, hit our Nobel Prize winning President upside the head and get him to void that EO? Please?

Iran? (0, Troll)

anonieuweling (536832) | more than 4 years ago | (#29692419)

The US has no business with Iran except for their oil.
The policeman role for the US is over.
Sanctions etc are an act of war, especially when the IAEA did not find anything wrong.
Even drawing the subject of Iran into something like this shows the real stance of the americanized population.
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