Gallery: 18-Year-Old Nuclear Scientist Unveils Plans for More Efficient...

 

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.

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

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3 Comments

  1. injusticehere March 5, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Another Twerp showcased and groomed by the Nuke and Weapons industry, sure he will be fast talking and wanky but in the end help with the destruction of biological life on this planet.
    Come up with a solution to the waste please and stop this nonsense aka Social Network rubbish sponsored by weapons industry take 2.
    Start with cleaning this up and then the rest of the worlds waste then you are a genius anything else is just greed and ego.
    Go on I dare you little NWO Puppet twerp:
    http://inhabitat.com/washingtons-hanford-nuclear-dump-is-leaking-toxic-waste/

  2. aigarius March 3, 2013 at 10:16 am

    The size limiting factor of a fission power station is not fission – that part ir relatively easy (it’s basically a heating element), most of the design complexity is in the non-nuclear parts: steam generators, turbines, transformation, balance and maintenance in an enviroment where each (even a very minor) issue forces the powerplant into a lengthy shutdown-cooldown-investigate-report-fix-report-permit-reheat-restart procedure that can take years just because there was slightly too much vibration in one of the secondary turbines.
    And those other parts of the system need regular inspections and checks which can not be done with the reactor operational. This is usually done to councide with the reloading cycle.
    Molten salt reactor designs are very easy to stop (even in an emergency), but they are very, very hard to restart after that and that is bad, because shutdown for inspection and maintenance is part of the plant security protocol.
    Also a minor detail – you can not create a transportable reactor core with a self-cooling emergency core drainage containment – there simply will not be enough mass to cool the drained core. A functional liquid core drainage containment is a half-a-building sized solid concrete block with drainage pipe form cavities inside it to direct the 3000+ degree nuclear core into tens of separate cooling pockets evenly distributed trought the mass of the block (with a few meters of concrete left on each side for bioshielding).

  3. bthinker bthinker February 28, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    I remember seeing an interview with him in those garage days, knew I would see more of him, and here it is. He’ll be center stage in his 20s.

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