20th century nuclear power plants are kind of like deep-frying a turkey next to your infant's crib, while he's sleeping. The danger we put ourselves in culminated in the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi earthquake and subsiquent reactor meltdown.
The danger of a terrestrial meltdown is insane. We've found it to be one of the dirtiest pollutants in existence, suffering centuries before it naturally degrades. Clean-up has posed problems of its own, as many modern machines malfunction in proximity to the radioactive heat given off by the reactor core.
Short of putting our power plants in orbit or ceasing their use, finding a cleaner and safer way to fission is the logical next step. The energy production from such a small amount of material is immense.
Thus, scientists have begun working on a way to insulate the nuclear material. Specifically, by dissolving uranium pellets in molten salt, Chinese scientists have figured out a way to preserve the uranium in-reactor for decades.
Of all the ways to lower the cost and improve the safety of nuclear fission-based power plants, molten salt reactors (MSR) has "a reasonable chance of being the winner” in the race, says Stephen Tindale, director of the U.K.-based Alvin Weinberg Foundation, a nonprofit organization advocating the use of advanced nuclear technology.
The system runs on low pressure, so there is little to no chance of a blowout. Also, there are no radioactive gasses produces in the molten salt reactor, so in case of trouble all nuclear fallout stays inside the plant.
It is believed that this new technology will be embraced, globally, by 2030 as governments continue to improve and create the system.
Clean energy is ideal, but the power of nuclear fission is not to be ignored. Similar to basic fire, if it is contained properly it can be one of our greatest assets.