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Air Quality Implications of a Nuclear Moratorium: An Alternative Analysis

The role of nuclear power in the nation's energy future is and probably will continue to be one of the principal energy policy issues in the United States. Relatively inexpensive coal reserves and escalating costs of light water reactors have eroded a once-large cost advantage enjoyed by nuclear technologies. While the relative cost advantage of nuclear over coal electric power has become a subject of debate, other less concrete issues have surfaced and often overshadow economic arguments. Antinuclear "forces" generally view the technology as the essence of what they consider wrong with modern technological society. Pronuclear "forces" counter that much fear associated with nuclear power derives from the newness of the technology and that the air quality and possible economic gains associated with nuclear power make it the preferable choice for future electricity generation.

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Energy Specializations: Nuclear Power – Policy and Regulation; Energy and the Environment – Policy and Regulation

JEL Codes:
E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General

Keywords: Nuclear moratorium, Air quality, US, Coal, Electricity generation

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol2-No3-4

Published in Volume 2, Number 3 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.