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“There’s enough uranium available to create clean energy for 10 billion people for 10 billion years,” says Jake DeWitte. That amounts to an essentially endless resource — enough to power a future without fossil fuels or weather-dependent resources like solar and wind power.
There’s a catch, however: That power must be harnessed by splitting a uranium atom, creating a nuclear reaction.
The long shadows of Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Fukushima Daiichi have led to a misperception among many that nuclear power is a dark, dangerous option. And while it is merely steam that pours from nuclear reactors’ cooling towers, there is radioactive waste generated by them — waste that must be locked in a nuclear tomb, to be undisturbed for 100,000 years.
But what if we could build nuclear reactors not as imposing, brutalist boxes and massive towers, but in a small A-frame cabin where the reactors could power a town for decades? And what if those nuclear reactors actually ran off of nuclear waste, rather than just producing it?
It’s not a pipe dream. It’s a reality that DeWitte and his wife, Caroline Cochran, believe is achievable.