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Faculty of Economics

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Heffron, R. J.

Nuclear New Build in the United States 1990-2010: A Three State Analysis


Abstract: This research examines nuclear energy policy across three states in the United States (US) – Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Texas – from 1990-2010. The main research question seeks to ascertain what the prerequisites are for successful nuclear new build to occur in the US. Interviews are at the core of the research methodology employed, as with other in-depth studies on nuclear new build. The aim of this research is to identify and clarify those aspects of the legal, economic, and political requirements of the US that effect prospects for nuclear new build but which, so far, have not been well understood by experts. The research provides these new insights through a unique comparison of US states which have deregulated, regulated and ‘hybrid’ electricity markets. From the research it is evident the central role that law can have in the nuclear energy sector, and that policy in the nuclear energy sector can become state driven. Further, the methodology identifies key assumptions within the nuclear sector in the US that are contested, and delivers lessons on how these contested issues may be resolved. The paper adds to the literature in public administration, legal development and nuclear energy policy, and in particular nuclear new build.

JEL Codes: K32 L94 Q58 Y80


EPRG Paper Link: 1204

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