Researchers are hoping that tiny graphite-coated balls of uranium, likened by Wired to “radioactive gobstoppers,” could revitalize nuclear energy production in the United States by making nuclear plants completely meltdown-proof.

Wired reports that the poppy-seed-sized balls, dubbed Triso fuel (tristructural isotropic particle), are low enriched uranium and oxygen surrounded by a shell of graphite and ceramic. The design has been around since the 1960s, but so far they’ve been to expensive to make and couldn’t meet the high demands of most nuclear power plants.

The design is supposed to stop the uranium from ever melting — even at 3,200 degrees Fahrenheit. That kind of heat far exceeds your average nuclear reactor temperatures, which generally top out at 1,000 or 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Wired.

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