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Startup claims it has created a battery that doesn't need to be charged for 50 years: 'Absolutely safe'

"Imagine the possibilities of phones you never need to plug in."

"Imagine the possibilities of phones you never need to plug in."

Photo Credit: Betavolt

Imagine if your phone lasted for years never or rarely needing to be charged. That's the promise of a groundbreaking new nuclear battery developed by Chinese startup Betavolt. This tiny powerhouse, smaller than a coin, could one day make dead devices and low battery warnings a thing of the past.

By harnessing the power of decaying nickel-63 isotopes, Betavolt says its miniature marvel can steadily generate electricity for up to 50 years without any charging or maintenance required. The self-sustaining battery packs a big punch in a small package, measuring just 15x15x5 cubic millimeters.

Betavolt says its atomic energy innovation, which has already entered pilot testing, could eventually end up in all sorts of devices, from medical implants and microprocessors to drones that can fly indefinitely. The company envisions it powering an exciting future filled with transformative technologies like AI, aerospace inventions, and micro-robotics.

While the concept of nuclear batteries has been around since the 20th century, previous versions developed by Soviet and American scientists were too large and expensive for widespread use. Under China's latest five-year economic plan aimed at strengthening the country's tech capabilities, Betavolt has now achieved a compact, affordable design that could revolutionize power storage.

The first version puts out 100 microwatts at three volts. But by 2025, Betavolt aims to scale that up to one watt — enough to make a real impact in small electronics when multiple batteries are combined. Imagine the possibilities of phones you never or rarely need to plug in or drones that can stay airborne indefinitely.

What's really exciting is that these mini marvels are safe and eco-friendly, too. They have no external radiation, can withstand extreme temperatures from -60 to 120 degrees Celcius (-76 to 248 degrees Fahrenheit), and won't catch fire or explode if crushed or punctured.

Even better, after the 100-year lifespan of the nickel-63 isotopes, they decay into harmless, stable copper that poses no environmental threat. So, not only could nuclear batteries untether us from chargers and outlets, but they could also seriously cut down on the millions of tons of toxic battery waste piling up in landfills each year, which can trigger landfill fires that burn for years at a time.

According to The Independent, the company said: "The atomic energy battery developed by Betavolt is absolutely safe, has no external radiation, and is suitable for use in medical devices such as pacemakers, artificial hearts and cochleas in the human body."

With pilot testing underway, Betavolt is now moving ahead with mass production for commercial applications across various industries. While an eternally-powered iPhone might not land in your pocket tomorrow, a more sustainable future feels closer than ever.

Saving money, hassle, and the environment with ultra-long-lasting batteries that reduce waste? That's the kind of nuclear reaction we can all get charged up about. As this sci-fi-esque technology becomes a reality, Betavolt's tiny batteries could make a big impact.

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