Nevada teen Taylor Wilson is quite a remarkable young man who has grown up with a self-described obsession with radioactivity. At the age of fourteen he built a working fusion reactor in his parents’ garage, and now is working on building portable radioactive isotopes that can be used for medical diagnosis in hospitals.
In a recent blog he wrote at CNN, Wilson says:
One of these technologies, nuclear fusion, is perhaps the disruptive technology that we are in desperate need of. We don’t have the energy source that the human race will need to survive centuries into the future. We are polluting our planet with fossil fuels and even without this eventuality, the simple fact of the matter is we won’t have fossil fuels forever. In fact, we won’t even have uranium to run commercial nuclear power plants for all that long either. Even if we did, the problems with accidents and spent nuclear fuel are still a major concern with these plants.
Nuclear fusion, on the other hand, is potentially more powerful than our fission-based power stations but depending on the fuel cycle, produces very little to no residual radiation or radioactive waste. It is also universally abundant. The fuels, whether they be hydrogen, heavy-hydrogen, lithium or boron, are found all around us.
It’s always interesting to me when I learn about people who have a skill or interest that they develop from very early years. Sometimes people know from childhood what they want to devote their lives to. I don’t know if Taylor has studied anything connected with LENR/cold fusion, but I would hope that at some point he might get interested and apply his considerable powers of creativity and determination to see whether he can help make strides in this emerging field. A couple of interesting videos are posted below — the first a TED talk about building his fusion reactor, and the second a feature on his work with medical devices.