The Wikipedia page on failed predictions (seen via BoingBoing) contains a couple of prediction that I don't think are complete failures:
- "The basic questions of design, material and shielding, in combining a nuclear reactor with a home boiler and cooling unit, no longer are problems... The system would heat and cool a home, provide unlimited household hot water, and melt the snow from sidewalks and driveways. All that could be done for six years on a single charge of fissionable material costing about $300." –- Robert Ferry, executive of the U.S. Institute of Boiler and Radiator Manufacturers, 1955.
- "Self-operating [vacuum] cleaners powered by nuclear energy will probably be a reality a decade from now." -– Alex Lewyt, president of vacuum cleaner company Lewyt Corp., in the New York Times in 1955.
In the case of the first prediction, we're getting there
. As for the second prediction, a vacuum cleaner plugged into a wall socket with a nuclear power plant at the other end is powered by nuclear energy.