Background Of The Invention

a. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally relates to laser devices and methods and more specifically to laser devices and methods used in medical imaging, diagnostics and treatment, various industrial applications such as etching, military applications, and is also useful for treatment of nuclear waste and energy production.

b. Description of Related Art

Laser technology has experienced widespread acceptance and has been put to numerous uses in many aspects of everyday life. Lasers have found their way into the medical industry and their use is expanding rapidly. Lasers are also used in industrial applications such as etching, welding and the like. Similarly, with the intense energy output that lasers provide, there has also been interest in military applications and uses of lasers. Despite the state of laser technology there is a need for new and improved laser technology. Moreover, conventional laser technology, although useful, has proven inefficient, requiring much higher amounts of energy to achieve the laser effect which has often proven impracticable.

With the unlocking of atomic secrets and the advent of nuclear technology, humanity has received many benefits. However, through the use of nuclear technology problems have arisen that even advancing technology has been incapable of handling, namely how to deal with the radioactive waste created through the nuclear process. Currently, nuclear waste is essentially put into storage until the radioactive waste can be moved to a more proper location or the radioactivity lessens to background levels. Both pose a multitude of problems. In the first instance, to date there have been few promising ways of safely locking nuclear waste in a form that does not degrade and contaminate the environment. One technology for the safe storage of nuclear waste is a process called vitrification which essentially locks the waste into glassy medium which is then stored in containers. However, this process is extremely expensive and the long-term stability of such waste is unknown. Likewise, although governments have spent billions of dollars in a search for a suitable permanent nuclear waste repository the efforts so far have been fruitless. Other methods of treating nuclear waste have been proposed but none has proven to be sufficiently cost effective and safe to meet the ever-increasing demand to deal with nuclear waste.

Thus there is a need to effectively, safely and cost-effectively dispose of nuclear waste.

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