Oregon State University sent out a press release (here), but I first saw this story at Fast Company (here) about Russell Goff, who has come up with a possible use for using spent nuclear fuel rods which are just piling up all over the country. He wants to cleanse food and medical supplies with his invention which, by the way, has a patent pending. Good for him.
“Russell Goff, a masters student in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Oregon State, thinks he has a use for it: sterilization of things like medical supplies and food. That might sound strange because you wouldn’t want any form of radiation near your food. But Goff is talking about isolating just the gamma rays, which are already used quite safely.
Goff figures, Why not use a resource that’s already available–literally just sitting there. “The idea is to remove as much shielding as you can while keeping the environment and people safe, and letting these gamma rays out so that you can harvest them in a controlled manner,” he says.”