Energy Seminar – Week 7: The roles of nuclear fission and fusion in the future UK energy system

Fusion has somehow leapt from being a distant concern of horizon-scanning academics and national lab researchers to being a trendy new start-up technology. Fission advocates have a new plan that is factory built and hopefully cheaper than the vast 2-reactor power plant under construction near Bristol. Fusion research and development has seen a culture shift that is both profound and potentially infectious. What will these innovations offer the mid twenty-first century energy system? Professor Nuttall will discuss such issues in this seminar. In 1996, Tony Blair said that Nuclear Power was ‘back on the agenda with a vengeance’ and 27 years on, we can say it again. Today it is game-on again, spurred by the return of energy insecurity, great power competition and ongoing climate change fears. In the mid-2020s we are facing a second edition of the Nuclear Renaissance, the first edition arguably having fizzled out amidst the diverse crises of Lehman Brothers and Fukushima-Daiichi.