There's big doings down there in Corvallis, Oregon as Oregon State University begins construction on an ambitious $5 million facility to test a "hot" new nuclear technology. Although a number of new tech designs incorporating small size and passive water-cooled systems - making them meltdown-proof - have been tested (and Corvallis spinoff NuScale has reportedly begun marketing such modular systems), the design this facilty will test is a new "superhot" version, cooled by helium.
Operating temperature is about 2000 degrees; three times hotter than other nuke plants, but the design precludes meltdowns while producing electricity some 50% more efficiently than current alternatives - with half the waste. Moreover, than can also produce hydrogen for fuel cells, and efficiently desalinate water.
And the apocalyptic Greenies will love this part: it produces zero "greenhouse gas" emissions. Better yet, the system's being built in Newberg, Oregon. Sort of like "farm to fork" science. Think of the reduction in "carbon footprint" achieved by buying locally!
There is one teeny problem: the planet's running out of helium, and man-made global warming aside, we're presently too cold to make more of the stuff. If this tech takes off, we may need to send robot ships off-planet to capture and return more.