The first nuclear power plants came into operation in the 1950s. Since then, there has been tweaks in designs, such as thicker walls, bigger containment boxes, and other safety-related improvements. Many changes were geared preventing meltdowns. There has also been development of different types of nuclear reactors. The current development of a working molten-salt reactor can lead to further improvements in safety as the risk of meltdowns is lower.
According to the article from MSNBC, many of the nuclear plants in the United States are Generation II plants designed in the 1960s. The newest crop of plants, deemed Generation III, began to operate in the late 1990s in other countries such as Japan, Russia, and France. Molten-salt reactors will usher in Generation IV.
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