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The Economics of Strategic Choice: U.S. Uranium Enrichment in the World Market: A Comment

Abstract:
In an earlier paper in The Energy Journal, Bodde, Quasebarth, and Thomasian (1986) discussed two pricing options that the U.S. government could pursue in selling enrichment services to the market, and noted the likely outcomes that adherence to each strategy would produce. While the authors considered the structure of the enrichment market and the cost advantages of new enrichment technology, they failed to take into account enrichment's role in the nuclear fuel cycle, particularly the degree to which enrichment and uranium can be substituted for one another. This omission is particularly significant, given the potential for the relative economics of enrichment and uranium to be affected due to the cost improvements and technological advances being made in enrichment.

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Energy Specializations: Nuclear Power – Markets and Prices; Nuclear Power – Other

JEL Codes: Q53: Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling, D40: Market Structure, Pricing, and Design: General, D47: Market Design, Q31: Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation: Demand and Supply; Prices, Q21: Renewable Resources and Conservation: Demand and Supply; Prices, L11: Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms, D11: Consumer Economics: Theory

Keywords: Uranium enrichment, US, Economics of strategic choice

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol10-No1-17


Published in Volume 10, Number 1 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.