The possibilities for the UK’s net-zero drive are tantalising

SourceThe Telegraph
CountryMiddle east

The larger issue is that cobalt-59 has to be converted in an industrial reactor by bombarding it with neutrons. There are 85 such reactors in Europe, some already producing isotopes for X-rays, scanners, smoke detectors, measuring devices, and so on. Others are scattered all over the world. They are crying out for business, especially in ex-Soviet states such as Armenia and Kazakhstan. Mr McLeod said the isotope can be recycled again and again by putting it back in a reactor every ten years.

By then the isotopes have partly decayed into nickel. There are almost no operating costs once the system is up and running. Dr Tinsley said it was unclear whether there is a big enough global supply of cobalt-60 to produce power at commercial scale. Infinite Power says the market is deeper than it looks. “We can easily build a one gigawatt plant within current supply,” said McLeod. Once the technology takes off, demand creates its own supply. It becomes more...