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A new generation of startups is trying to bring nuclear energy into the 21st century, developing smaller reactors that they say could be safer than old designs thanks to features like lower operating pressures, and cheaper, too, since they could theoretically be mass-produced. Oklo’s tiny reactor, the Aurora Powerhouse—which would be about 60 times smaller than a typical nuclear facility—is one of the farthest along, though the company ran into a regulatory roadblock in the U.S. early last year. Oklo recently signed a preliminary deal with the U.S. Air Force to build a reactor to power a base in Alaska.

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