Fusion pioneer talks to youths about nuclear power's potential

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology junior and entrepreneur Conrad Farnsworth talked about the future of nuclear energy at the TEDxYouth@MileHigh event on Thursday in Denver.

TEDxYouth@MileHigh is a one-day event at which some of the state's innovators share their big ideas with students in grades 6-12. The students heard Farnsworth, a junior in electrical engineering, talk about the revival of the atomic future that was promised by previous generations. His joint talk with Colorado resident Siouxsie Downs was titled “A New Generation for Nuclear Energy,”

Farnsworth is well-qualified to speak on the topic. As a high school junior, he became the first person in the state, and one of only a handful in the country, to achieve nuclear fusion. He and Downs are co-founders of Farnsworth Downs Technology, with a goal to develop small, modular molten salt reactors. Such reactors potentially could cut the cost and infrastructure needed for nuclear power, as well as generate potentially life-saving medical isotopes by processing the byproducts. Medical isotopes are used in diagnostic imaging and to treat diseases.

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