Deadline reports that the helmer will develop an adaptation of the Popular Science article 'The Boy Who Played With Fusion', which chronicled the story of Alabama teenage prodigy Taylor Wilson.
Wilson gained notoriety for experimenting with nuclear materials with his parents' approval, and achieving nuclear fusion by the age of 14.
When his grandmother became ill with cancer, Wilson also attempted to develop a cure for the disease using short-lived isotopes.
The film will reportedly contrast Wilson's story with the similar tale of Michigan teenager David Hahn, whose attempt to build a breeder reactor in his parents' shed achieved results that were more dangerous than desirable.
Nichols's next film Mud played at this year's Cannes Film Festival, and stars Matthew McConaughey alongside Reese Witherspoon and regular Nichols collaborator Michael Shannon.
Mud is due for release later this year, with no date yet set for The Boy Who Played With Fusion.
Watch the trailer for Take Shelter below: