I was just reading MSNBC.com and read about an intriguing new technology that harnesses nuclear reactions to generate electricity Ok, I know what you're thinking - nuclear plants do that already - big whoop. But imagine if you could have a nuclear-powered battery the size of a pacemaker that just keeps going and going for years - even decades! No more Energizer or Duracell batteries filling our landfills. A nuclear battery opens up some interesting possibilities, which if made powerful enough could perhaps be used in automobiles to reduce our dependence on foeign oil.
That's what this technology promises to do - in fact, pacemakers are one of the possible applications the artcle mentions. Now you're probably wondering about the radiation - there is no danger - it uses Tritium, the radioactive form of Hydrogen which is easily shielded - even a thin shield of paper can block the low energy radiation.
Tritium emits only low-energy particles "that can be shielded by very thin materials, such as a sheet of paper," said Gadeken of BetaBatt. "The hermetically-sealed, metallic BetaBattery cases will encapsulate the entire radioactive energy source, just like a normal battery contains its chemical source so it cannot escape."
Also, according to the article,
the radiation is extremely low-level. "It is safe and can be implanted in the body," Fauchet said. "The energetic particles emitted by tritium do not penetrate inside the skin. "The device is detailed in Friday's issue of Advanced Materials.