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The Economics and Politics of Climate Change$
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Dieter Helm and Cameron Hepburn

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199573288

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199573288.001.0001

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Nuclear Power, Climate Change, and Energy Policy

Nuclear Power, Climate Change, and Energy Policy

(p.247) 12 Nuclear Power, Climate Change, and Energy Policy
The Economics and Politics of Climate Change

Dieter Helm

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how the lessons of the past and the economic fundamentals play out for the design of nuclear energy policy and their relevance to climate change. It first considers these lessons from the past, drawing in particular on the UK experience to indicate how not to design policy in the future. It then looks at the market failures which policy seeks to address, along with the appropriate policy responses to those failures, including sunk costs and long-term contracts, carbon and long-term carbon prices, and nuclear waste management and decommissioning. Finally, the chapter discusses the characteristics of a new energy policy framework for nuclear power and the consequences of failing to get it right.

Keywords:   nuclear energy policy, climate change, UK, market failures, sunk costs, long-term contracts, carbon prices, nuclear waste management, decommissioning, nuclear power

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