Eighteen-year-old Taylor Wilson has designed a compact nuclear reactor that could one day burn waste from old atomic weapons to power anything from homes and factories to space colonies.
The American teen, who gained fame four years ago after designing a fusion reactor he planned to build in the garage of his family’s home, shared his latest endeavor at a TED Conference in southern California on Thursday.
“It’s about bringing something old, fission, into the 21st Century,” Wilson said. “I think this has huge potential to change the world.”
He has designed a small reactor capable of generating 50-100 megawatts of electricity, enough to power as many as 100,000 homes.
The reactor can be made assembly-line style and powered by molten radioactive material from nuclear weapons, Wilson said. The relatively small, modular reactor can be shipped sealed with enough fuel to last for 30 years.
“You can plop them down anywhere in the world and they work, buried under the ground for security reasons,” he said, while detailing his design at TED.
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