How Does a Nuclear Battery Work?

How Does a Nuclear Battery Work?

Nuclear Battery

Power sources that run on radioactive materials can function for about 100 years. And during all this time they don’t need to be recharged. They keep producing electricity throughout their lengthy lifetime. Is it really possible? How does a nuclear battery work? And most importantly, is there a better solution?

The Concept Explained

betavoltaic process

These forever batteries work through a betavoltaic process to produce electricity. The radioactive material (e.g. Nickel-63) fires high-speed electrons. When they interact with a semiconductor (e.g. Silicon), they cause an electric flow. This continues for decades without noticeable power loss. Check out this video to learn more:

Don’t Confuse a 100 Year Battery with RTGs

Don’t Confuse a 100 Year Battery with RTGs

There are 2 classes of nuclear batteries: thermal and non-thermal.

  • The first group transforms the heat produced by radioactive materials into electricity. For example, the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator, used by NASA for space missions. It runs on an isotope like Plutonium and has a massive construction.
  • The second focuses on beta particles that react with a semiconductor and produce energy. Namely, the betavoltaic principle. Such devices can be tiny to power small-scale applications.

Nanodiamond Forever Battery from NDB Inc: the Basic Differences


Just like its predecessors, it uses beta radiation to make electricity. But the company works with Carbon-14 as a radioactive isotope that emits high-power electrons. A polycrystalline diamond acts as a semiconductor and increases the efficiency of the electric current. As a result, it provides enough energy for bigger devices, not just tiny sensors.

To seal radiation, they use a non-radioactive artificial diamond. Applied in nanolayers, it locks dangerous emissions. Extreme temperatures, accidents, or any external disturbances can’t breach it and cause leakage. It’s 12 times harder than stainless steel.

Where Can I Buy the NDB Battery?

Where Can I Buy the NDB Battery

It’s not available for customers yet. The invention has successfully undergone several tests. Now the developers are constructing a commercial prototype. Once the stage is complete, we can expect huge brands to start using this technology. As well as an opportunity to buy a 100 year battery (and longer) for domestic needs.