Sustainability is at the centre of my research which is based on removing the dangerous radioactive materials from used nuclear fuel so that it cna be placed into anotehr reactor that will convert it into non-radioactive material. That will mean that nuclear power will be the least polluting major means of generation energy available to mankind as it has an almost negligible carbon footprint (carbon dioxide output) compared to the amount of energy generated and doesn’t produce other pollutants either.
You have to think about how relevant your new ideas will be far into the future. If you have a new energy source, will there be enough fuel in 100 years time? Will it take up valuable land that we need to grow food? If the population grows, are we going to have enough? It’s all thinking about the future 🙂
Development is sustainable if it addresses environmental issues, meets the needs of people, and is affordable. This is what most of my research is about – there is little point inventing something really clever if it does not meet people’s needs, or people cannot afford it…..you would need to go back to the drawing board and redesign it in some way….