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May19-09, 03:27 PM
PF Gold
P: 3,103
Quote Quote by vanesch View Post
I'm extremely sceptical about this. First off, most energy in a nuclear reactor is deposited by fission products in the fuel, so I don't see how you can make a good scintillator out of the fuel and worse, how to couple that to some kind of photocel
This appears to be mostly a geometry problem, and that sandwiches of thin film materials would be a start towards doing away with the internals of the fuel, where most of the material is exposed on a surface.

But next, we all know that solar cells are not extremely efficient in converting light into electricity. So trying to convert radiation into scintillation light, and then trying to convert that scintillation light into electricity sounds like about the worse idea one could have to make an efficient plant. So I don't know what that 40% means.
PVs achieve over 40% efficiencies now. They are quite expensive, but if one has an extremely high energy density source they can pay off.