Taylor Wilson is an 18-year-old scientist who built a nuclear fusion reactor in his parent’s garage at the age of 14 – and he just unveiled his work on a new modular nuclear fission reactor that could be more efficient than existing nuclear plants. After speaking last year about his first experiences with nuclear power, Taylor returned to TED2013 to talk about his new project.

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Speaking at TED 2013 in Long Beach, California, Taylor Wilson presented his idea for the small nuclear fission reactor that could revolutionize the use of nuclear power. Although similar concepts are being developed throughout the world by major corporations, Wilson is likely to be the first teenager to venture into such research.

Wilson’s modular nuclear fission reactors would be built using parts of old decommissioned reactors without using water, achieving 10 to 15 percent more efficiency. With a 50-100 MW capacity, they could provide power for up to 100,000 homes, according to the teenage nuclear scientist.

With no need for refueling—an advantage that helps minimize safety risks—the modular nuclear fission reactors would be buried underground and could run about 20 years before they’re shut down. Not only are they a viable energy solution for developing countries, but can also be transported aboard a spacecrafts to other planets, claims Wilson.

Wilson’s design is still in early stages but after his graduation this year he plans to found a company and build one these reactors. He is currently working on three other projects: an instrument that detects smuggled Plutonium and nuclear weapons, analysis techniques for verifying the contents of cargo containers and 3D imaging technology that detects nitrogen based explosives in baggage and packages.

+ Taylor’s Nuke Site

Via Fast Company