British scientists are calling for a nuclear power "renaissance" in a 20-year master plan proposing global expansion of the industry.
Researchers envision nuclear reactors with replaceable parts, portable mini-reactors and even ship-borne reactors supplying countries with clean energy, an article published in the journal Science said Thursday.
"With the right investment, these new technologies could be feasible," Professor Robin Grimes from the Department of Materials at Imperial College London said.
"Concerns about climate change, energy security and depleting fossil fuel reserves have spurred a revival of interest in nuclear power generation and our research sets out a strategy for growing the industry long-term," he said.
The proposed road map could fill an energy gap as old nuclear, gas and coal fired plants around the world are decommissioned while reducing the planet's dependency on fossil fuels, the researchers say.
Based on how technologies are developing, scientists say, new types of reactors could come online by 2030 that are much more efficient than current reactors.
The report concludes with a caution that governments around the world must invest more in training the next generation of nuclear engineers or else the nuclear industry may not have enough qualified personnel to make the renaissance a reality.