Nuclear Matinee: Taylor Wilson’s radical plan for small nuclear fission reactors

A video was uploaded recently at TED Talks that has caused a bit of a stir around the internet. Nuclear scientist Taylor Wilson, 19 years of age, enthusiastically sets out to solve the problem that underlies all others: Energy.

In this video, Wilson announces his variation of a Molten Salt Small Modular Reactor, and explains some of the anticipated advantages of this version of “factory-produced” nuclear power—such as an ability to burn up stockpiles of nuclear weapons materials, less leftover waste, and a sealed system requiring no refueling. The system would feature inherent, passive safety due to operation at atmospheric pressure—and such a reactor could provide a compact source of enormous power that would revolutionize space exploration.

The general ideas presented are not entirely new. In fact, the first molten salt reactor was built at Oak Ridge National Laboratory decades ago, and several entities around the world are currently researching and developing molten salt reactors (for example, Transatomic Power, Flibe Energy, Terrestrial Energy). We shall see what the future holds—in the meantime, enjoy this inspiring and engaging presentation:

Elizabeth Palermo with the story at TechNewsDaily Teenager Designs Safer Nuclear Power Plants.

Thanks to TED Talks

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2 Responses to Nuclear Matinee: Taylor Wilson’s radical plan for small nuclear fission reactors

  1. Keith Pickering

    Very nice, but … is there anything at all here that David LeBlanc hasn’t already been talking about for years?

  2. The young man deserves credit for his ability to explain the concepts. And Keith is correct. David LeBlanc and Kirk Sorensen and others before them have the exact same ideas in their designs. The strange thing about it though is that the patent has expired on the original Molten Salt Reactor so no single company is any more valid than another when it comes to making similar claims. Clearly the biggest difference is that the companies like Terrestrial Energy Inc and FLIBE whenever they have spoken in various talks both give credit to the original pioneers in this technology.