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The Valuation of Nuclear Power in The Post-Three Mile Island Era

On March 28, 1979, an event at the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear plant of the General Public Utilities Corporation placed the future of nuclear power in the United States in doubt. The "transient" that led to the partial melting of the cladding around the fuel rods was to create concern in the nuclear industry and in the public at large about the safety, costs, and acceptability of nuclear power. While the impressionistic evidence is that TMI has caused great problems for the industry, there is little systematic evidence that this is the case. What real damage did the accident do to the prospects for nuclear power in the United States?The potential damages to the nuclear industry were of several varieties. First the accident might have caused people to reevaluate the safety of nuclear reactors.

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Energy Specializations: Nuclear Power – Policy and Regulation

JEL Codes: Q40: Energy: General, Q41: Energy: Demand and Supply; Prices, L94: Electric Utilities, Q35: Hydrocarbon Resources

Keywords: Nuclear power valuation, Nuclear industry, Reactor satety, Energy policy

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol4-No2-3

Published in Volume 4, Number 2 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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