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  1. #1
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    US teen designs compact nuclear reactor

    AFP: US teen designs compact nuclear reactor


    Barrels containing high level radioactive nuclear waste is stored in a pool in North England on September 26, 2002 (AFP/File, Odd Andersen)

    US teen designs compact nuclear reactor

    (AFP) – 2 hours ago

    LONG BEACH, California — 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.

    "In the Cold War we built up this huge arsenal of nuclear weapons and we don't need them anymore," Wilson said. "It would be great if we could eat them up, and this reactor loves this stuff."

    His reactors are designed to spin turbines using gas instead of steam, meaning they operate at temperatures lower than those of typical nuclear reactors and don't spew anything if there is a breach.

    The fuel is in the form of molten salt, and the reactors don't need to be pressurized, according to the teenager.

    "In the event of an accident, you can just drain the core into a tank under the reactor with neutron absorbers and the reaction stops," Wilson said.

    "There is no inclination for the fission products to leave this reactor," he said. "In an accident, the reactor may be toast, which is sorry for the power company, but there is no problem."

    Wilson, who graduated grade school in May, said he is putting off university to focus on a company he created to make Modular Fission Reactors.

    He sees his competition as nations, particularly China, and the roadblocks ahead as political instead of technical.

    Wilson planned to have a prototype ready in two years and a product to market in five years.

    "Not only does it combat climate change, it can bring power to the developing world," Wilson said with teenage optimism.

    "Imagine having a compact reactor in a rocket designed by those planning to habitat other planets. Not only would you have power for propulsion, but power once you get there."
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

  2. #2
    I am in Jail
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    interesting genius, for once

  3. #3
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    Very interesting, particularly as no one else has managed to achieve this yet. But good on him, maybe he has got the solution.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    Very interesting, particularly as no one else has managed to achieve this yet. But good on him, maybe he has got the solution.
    He got the plans from the internet?

    Or he has figured out there is more money to be made from hope than technology?

  5. #5
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    The oil companies will roger him up the arse before he gets it to market.
    Actually the power companies will too.

  6. #6
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    And where did he get weapons grade nuclear fuel from.
    Last edited by the dogcatcher; 01-03-2013 at 03:16 PM. Reason: 2 bottles of Sang Som before lunch.

  7. #7
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    Sorry... this is all theorical.
    Was,nt there a kid a few years back did something similar in a garden shed using lithium batteries?

  8. #8
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Hard to believe that the Homeland Security goons, none of whom would come close to understanding the concept, haven't seen "nuclear" and bundled him off to Gitmo.

  9. #9
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    what a clever lad.

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