Nuclear reactors fit the bill: They're dense, reliable, emit no carbon, and - contrary to popular belief - are among the safest energy sources on Earth. They currently supply 20% of America's energy, but this share may decline by 50% through 2040 as companies take decades-old reactors offline, according to a July 2016 report released by Idaho National Laboratory. Fortunately, a powerful yet relatively unknown solution may have started with a Cold War-era airplane: "The Crusader" NB-36H jet bomber, which flew over two US states with a nuclear reactor in its belly. The effort was part of the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion (ANP) program. Although it was ultimately canceled, ANP spawned the development of a radical new type of power plant, called the molten-salt reactor.
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