Civilian Nuclear Power: Economic Issues and Policy Formation

Civilian Nuclear Power: Economic Issues and Policy Formation

Civilian Nuclear Power: Economic Issues and Policy Formation

Civilian Nuclear Power: Economic Issues and Policy Formation

Excerpt

This study is intended to provide an evaluation of policy formation that is based on economic analysis of the issues underlying power reactor development during the period 1953-1961. Its purpose is to help private and public policy makers find sound solutions to the controversial economic issues that arise as the area of private development and participation enlarges. Over the shoulders of policy makers I am also addressing fellow economists, particularly those intrigued by the "institutional" footings of public policy. I hope this study is in the challenging tradition of Edward A. Filene's expectations for the work of the Fund in "these new times."

I have tried, but with less satisfaction and feeling of success, to be faithful to the demands of precision in discussing technical matters and power reactor technology. Though the study is long, it is intended to be simplified enough that the nontechnical reader can readily see the range of issues and will not feel overwhelmed by the complexity of detail. This simplification has perhaps entailed a use of technical data which may seem highhanded to the technical reader.

In examining the controversial issues of policy one might take a safely historical approach, merely reporting opposing positions and arguments and hoping for a synthesis of conflicting views. Instead I have chosen to take an analytical view of the economic issues and to join in their appraisal, as a more stimulating and illuminating approach to both past and future public policy formation. That approach has helped to shape the structure of the study. In Chapter 2 I stress the intimate interaction of reactor technology and administrative economic policies. In Chapters 3, 4 and 5 I review the debated economic need for nuclear power in the United States against the background of our nuclear resources and programs for development. These findings provide a basis for critical appraisal of the economic policies influencing private and public reactor development. In Chapters 6, 7 and 8 I analyze the expressed . . .

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