Nanobots for the Nuclear Industry


Mobile nanobots could find applications in the nuclear power industry.  Having established some notions of potential nanobot mobility in a previous article, the exploration of nanobot functions using mobility seemed appropriate.  Mobile nanobots could address some very difficult problems with very simple functionality.  One idea is for nanobots (or systems of nanobots and microbots working together) to be designed to seek light or other radiation.  In this way they could be guided by controlled sources of the radiation they were designed to seek (“follow the flashlight” mode).  Alternatively, they could be designed to seek and, in doing so, block undesirable light or radiation.  Perhaps they could gain energy from that radiation to prolong their working “lives”.

Could nanobots help in nuclear reactor disasters?  Imagine if nanobots could be designed to seek x-rays, neutrons, or alpha particles, for example.  Nanobots could be dumped on a failed reactor structure where they would migrate to the strongest radiation sources they could detect, eventually building up in thick layers over the leaks.  The radiation might deactivate or destroy them before they got to it, but their tiny bodies could still pile up and eventually form barriers to it (though that might pose problems during cleanup).  If part of the nanobots’ construction involved materials that absorb neutrons, they might be able to curb a runaway reactor by coating the fuel rods and slowing neutron emissions essential to the fission reaction.  They might also reduce radiation levels by building up over radiation sources, or where radiation enters a room or corridor, so that humans could more safely work in that area.

What clever applications can YOU think of?  The development of nanotechnology will be led by a lot of “blue sky” ideas, like any new technology, that will be refined as more is understood.  Some will be discarded as uneconomical, impractical, or impossible, while others will be applied in ways never considered when they were thought up originally, but all of that will add up to progress.   The brainstorming stage is one of the most fun in the development of new technologies, and tomorrow’s great ideas always sound crazy today (or in many cases we’d be using them).  Read more elsewhere, if you are interested in the topic.  You can invent much more effectively when you know the full extent of “what is”, and are at or near the cutting edge.  Dreaming up the future is fun.

I look forward to your ideas, comments, “like’s”, shares, etc., as this is definitely a “the more the merrier” topic.  Thanks for reading — Tim

 

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