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Unpublished Paper
An Unattainable Wedge: Four Limiting Effects on the Expansion of Nuclear Power
ExpressO (2009)
  • Tanya K Mortensen, University of Houston - Main

With a cap and trade system likely imminent, concerns about the costs of generating electricity and how electrical generators can best mitigate the effects of a carbon trade system are resurfacing. As a result, interests in nuclear power are resurging world-wide. Although, the purpose of this paper is aimed at national decision making, the problems and processes that confront decision makers internationally are effectively the same as those confronting decision makers in the United States. This paper examines the feasibility of using nuclear power as a wedge to reduce CO2 emissions, and puts forth four effects that may prevent or inhibit the growth of the nuclear power industry: (1) the effect of cultural perception, (2) the effect of nuclear waste policy, (3) the effect of non-static permit prices, and (4) the effect of smart-grid technology. Consequently, the expansion of nuclear energy as a wedge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions may be impractical.

  • nuclear energy,
  • climate change,
  • environment,
  • air pollution,
  • cap and trade,
  • Smart Grid,
  • Socolow and Pacala
Publication Date
June 18, 2009
Citation Information
Tanya K Mortensen. "An Unattainable Wedge: Four Limiting Effects on the Expansion of Nuclear Power" ExpressO (2009)
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