Prospects for Nuclear Power
The prospects for a revival of nuclear power were dim even before the partial reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Nuclear power has long been controversial because of concerns about nuclear accidents, proliferation risk, and the storage of spent fuel. These concerns are real and important. In addition, however, a key challenge for nuclear power has been the high cost of construction for nuclear plants. Construction costs are high enough that it becomes difficult to make an economic argument for nuclear, even before incorporating these external costs. This is particularly true in countries like the United States where recent technological advances have dramatically increased the availability of natural gas.
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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17674
Published: Lucas W. Davis, 2012. "Prospects for Nuclear Power," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 49-66, Winter.
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