Summary of Fail-Safe Nuclear Power

Cheaper and cleaner nuclear plants could finally become reality – but not in the United States, where the technology was invented more than 50 years ago.

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Fail-Safe Nuclear Power summary
Don’t worry that China is going nuclear. The planet depends on it.


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Coal dependency is a big problem for China: No wonder it has an eye on a nuclear-powered future. Richard Martin is MIT Technology Review’s senior editor for energy. In this article, he describes the state-of-the-art nuclear technology that Chinese researchers are building – based on research that US scientists discarded in the 1960s. Martin conveys infectious enthusiasm for the technology that makes many uncomfortable, especially since the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Martin clearly explains the science behind a safer and cheaper methodology to generate nuclear power. Whether you support or fear nuclear power, getAbstract encourages you to read this accessible article.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How China’s Shanghai Institute has partnered with a US research lab to build molten-salt reactor nuclear power plants, 
  • How nuclear power will end China’s coal dependency and
  • Why Silicon Valley investors and new companies are banking on nuclear power technology.


China’s Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics has resurrected molten-salt reactor technology, an old nuclear technology first developed by US nuclear physicists in the 1950s. By 2035, some 30 “fail-safe” nuclear power plants will provide electricity to China’s increasing population. China is making considerable efforts to lead the nuclear power industry into the future.

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About the Author

Richard Martin is the senior editor for energy at MIT Technology Review and the author of Coal Wars.

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