Abstract A short review is presented of target cooling approaches suggested for targets irradiated by intense high-energy proton beams to produce radioactive species for use in a broad range of physics studies. This work reports on conductive cooling approaches for operation at temperatures lower than effective for radiative cooling. The possibilities for conductive cooling are discussed, and a prototype test target is described. This target was constructed for an experiment, designed to validate the numerical analysis approaches, at the TRIUMF/ISAC facility. Fabrication issues and the results of the experiment are presented, followed by a discussion of the implications of the experiment outcome for future development of targets to produce intense beams of radioactive ions.