That’s a big question! In the next 20 years or so, I’d like to see nuclear power (fission) gather some more momentum around the world as countries switch over from coal and gas power stations whilst building up their renewables. This might involve building small modular reactors (SMRs) or advanced reactors like high temperature gas reactors (HTGRs).
Nuclear should be the silent foundation of the UK’s future energy mix, consistently ticking away to make sure we don’t run out of electricity whilst renewables like wind, solar and hydro make up the majority of the grid. It would be really cool if future nuclear reactors could be used for heating homes and businesses as well, or industrial processes like hydrogen production. But this will require a leap in technology.
Then, in the more distant future, I’d love for nuclear fusion to become a viable option which can replace ageing fission plants towards the end of the century. But who knows, Elon Musk might have us on Mars before that happens!
I think I would want nuclear science to progress enough so that it can be cleaner and more efficient so that we can rely on it for 100s of years to come as a good, clean energy source to help fight climate change (it’s already very good for this but I think it can still be improved).
Also, I really want there to be a geological disposal facility built for our radioactive waste as soon as possible. That’s a problem that’s been around for far too long and needs sorting out!
I’d like to see all countries having the benefit of nuclear science, not just as a power source but also the medical benefits, and working together for the long term management and storage of the radioactive waste.