0
$\begingroup$

I would like to ask if there is any Nuclear process which can be used to produce a wireless power ?

Is there any nuclear process can be radiate to the environment with no harm to human beings?

How can I use the photo electric effect with some high Intensity radiation ?

$\endgroup$
5
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Neutrinos are pretty harmless, i guess... $\endgroup$
    – Asphir Dom
    Feb 27 '13 at 10:31
  • $\begingroup$ @AsphirDom but interact so weakly that they are useless as a power source. $\endgroup$
    – anna v
    Feb 28 '13 at 5:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Try sending hydrogen through mail. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sneakernet (mailing of digital information). In case you're interested there's background radiation en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Background_radiation $\endgroup$
    – raindrop
    Feb 28 '13 at 6:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Raindrop can you write it as an answer? $\endgroup$
    – 0x90
    Feb 28 '13 at 6:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The last part of the question could be answered by solar power - that is basically a use of the photoelectric effect from high-intensity radiation from a nuclear process, transmitted wirelessly. $\endgroup$
    – ahemmetter
    Dec 30 '17 at 8:32
2
$\begingroup$

There are no nuclear processes that can be used directly to transmit power. With any nuclear system the power is first removed from the reactor as heat. This heat is then used to drive a turbine which in turn drives a generator. This way, part of the power (less than 30%) from the nuclear process is converted into electricity, which is then transmitted to the users. The rest of the power is waste heat.

Because of the conversion from nuclear to heat to electricity, we end up using only those transmission systems that are economical for electricity. Unfortunately, wireless transmission is not practical with present technology, and will never be practical for direct transmission to end users. It may become practical for transmission of large amounts of power in a narrow beam - especially from space to earth.

Any radiation that directly escapes the nuclear reactor, without being converted to heat, is potentially dangerous, as it consists of high energy particles or radiation. With fission reactors most of the danger comes from the long lasting fission products. Fusion reactors generate copious neutrons which are dangerous if not absorbed, and can also make the reactor vessel radioactive. However, the total radiation from a fusion reactor is far lower than from a fission reactor.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Well in a radiation detector the radiation causes ionization in the gas. This charge is collected on a wire and transmitted as a pulse. It's technically creating a current so I guess one could argue that it's directly producing electricity. However even with a substantial radioactive source, that produced charge is so small it still has to be amplified by an alternative power source in order to be read by the electronics. In the end the net system uses a lot more electricity than it produces.

Perhaps one way is if you had a very powerful gamma transmitter in a box with a hole. The gammas shoot like a laser to a distant tank filled with gas. The gas is ionized creating a charge which is collected creating a current. Then maybe you'd have created a wireless power source using radioactive materials. But that system would be so inefficient and so dangerous I can't see there being any kind of commercial application.

All levels of radiation should be considered harmful. However, consider that you are currently being exposed to radiation right now. Bananas have radioactive potassium that you eat. Your bones contain naturally occurring radioactive carbon 14. Uranium decay in the ground produces naturally occurring radon that you inhale in minute traces. Then there's the background radiation exposure due to global contamination caused by three decades of nuclear bomb tests.

Radiation causes DNA damage. But DNA is capable of repairing itself to an extent so there is a level of tolerance to radiation that our bodies can endure before it begins to break down. With that in mind and the fact that radioisotopes do decay to stable elements, some very quickly, some very slowly, there are limited levels that are allowed to be put in the environment without fear of damage.

For example many medical imaging tests use Tc-99m injected into the patient. It has a physical half life of 6 hours and a biological half life of 1 day. It decays into Tc-99 which has a physical half life of 211,000 years and a biological half life of 1 hour. So after about 70 hours it's pretty much entirely out of your system. But you per it out so in that time your pee is radioactive. But since you only have a really small amount and the half life is so long, and that amount gets diluted through the whole sewer system then it's not really a big deal. But in the 60's when they were dumping barrels full of it into the ocean as nuclear waste it was a very big deal.

In a sodium iodide detector, high energy gamma radiation enters the crystal. It elevates electrons in the crystal to an excited state. The electrons then de-excite releasing photons. Impurities cause the electron to drop in stages so the emitted photons are lower in energy, usually in the visual range. Those photons then impact a photocathode made of a specific material that is more susceptible to the photoelectric effect. This effect produces electrons which are collected and sent through a photomultiplier tube. This amplifies the charge and in the end collects on a wire to produce a pulse signifying that a radiation event has been detected. So this is one method in which the photoelectric effect is used to detect high energy radiation.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

Are you thinking of a nuclear powered electric generator or the electromagnetic pulse from fission as a source? If it's the former then it's known as Wifi.

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ Obviously, it's the former :) $\endgroup$
    – 0x90
    Mar 13 '17 at 13:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.