Dumfries 2050 – Science

Power – Borders – History

Energy issues in the early part of the 21st century caused by the disparity between energy supplies in England and Scotland created tensions along their shared border. National boundaries across the UK became contested after the Brexit vote and energy becomes a point of discussion leading up to the agreement of the 2050 zero emissions targets.

England starts to see nuclear electricity generation as the answer, which in turn leads to a new Scottish independence referendum. In 2020 Scotland leaves the UK.

In a deal with England over ownership of Wind power and North Sea Oil, the borders region is transformed by a border change. Dumfries and Galloway is now in England. In 2030, increasing demand for low carbon power in the south east of England leads to the construction of large scale nuclear facilities along the Scottish /English border near Dumfries which creates long running social tensions along the length of the Border.

A small scale nuclear accident in 2049 is caused by an attempted terrorist plot to steal fissile material triggering a furious community to unite in taking control decontaminating the Solway and surrounding landscape. The community then turns its attention on the facilities themselves, removing all the security fencing and forcing permanent closure of sites.

Under the old banners of the Border Rievers they reclaimed ‘the debatable lands’ as the borders were known historically when neither Scotland or England could tame or claim them.

Fragments of barbed wire become a symbol of citizen power (‘integration not separation!) Real political pressure mounts on science and industry to create the safer, long term, low carbon alternatives to nuclear power which we benefit from today.

The Borders are still independent from the rest of the UK and Scotland and make international trading and cultural ties with other ‘border’ communities across the world.