For years, researchers have been in search of an economically feasible method of converting nuclear energy directly into electricity. Now, University of Missouri researchers are developing an energy conversion system that uses relatively safe isotopes to generate high-grade energy. A system that directly converts nuclear energy into electricity would be cheaper than current nuclear conversion technology. MU researchers have developed a process called Radioisotope Energy Conversion System (RECS). In the first step of the process, the ion energy from radioisotopes is transported to an intermediate photon generator called a fluorescer and produces photons, which are the basic units of light. In the second step of the process, the photons are transported out of the fluorescer to photovoltaic cells, which efficiently convert the photon energy into electricity.
April 13th, 2009