Teenager Plans to Build Small Modular Reactors

A physics prodigy, Taylor Wilson became the youngest person to create fusion at age 14. Now nineteen years old, Wilson recently spoke to a TED audience about his plans to build a small modular reactor that is less expensive and much safer to operate than today's nuclear reactors.

Wilson lays out this version of a molten salt small modular reactor and explains some of the advantages of this "factory-produced" nuclear power, such as the option to burn stockpiles of nuclear weapons materials, lower resulting waste, and a sealed system requiring no refueling.

While his ideas are not entirely new--the first molten salt reactor was built at Oak Ridge National Laboratory decades ago--he's completely in sync with the cutting edge of the nuclear industry. Isn't that enough for a 19 year old?

(Read the Popular Science article that made Taylor famous.)

Where else might he devote his talents, if not to nuclear energy?

Images: Taylor Wilson, James Duncan Davidson, TED2012