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Uranium and nuclear Power: The role of exploration information in framing public policy

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  • Charles F Mason

Abstract

An addressing climate change becomes a high priority it seems likely that there will be a surge in interest in deploying nuclear power. Other fuel bases are too dirty (coal), too expensive (oil, natural gas) or too speculative (solar, wind) to completely supply the energy needs of the global economy. To the extent that the global society does in fact choose to expand nuclear power there will be a need for additional production. That increase in demand for nuclear power will inevitably lead to an increase in demand for uranium. While some of the increased demand for uranium will be satisfied by expanding production from existing deposits, there will undoubtedly be pressure to find and develop new deposits, perhaps quite rapidly. Looking forward, it is important that policies be put in place that encourage an optimal allocation of future resourcs towards exploration. In particular, I argue there is a valid concern that privately optial levels of industrial activity wilol fail to fully capture all potential social gains; these sub-optimal exploration levels are linked to a departure between the private and social values of exploration information.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford in its series OxCarre Working Papers with number 104.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:oxcrwp:104

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Keywords: Uranium and nuclear power; climate change; uranium; public policy;

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  1. Lucas W. Davis, 2011. "Prospects for Nuclear Power," NBER Working Papers 17674, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Milgrom, Paul & Weber, Robert J., 1982. "The value of information in a sealed-bid auction," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 105-114, June.
  3. Swierzbinski, Joseph E. & Mendelsohn, Robert, 1989. "Information and exhaustible resources: A Bayesian analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 193-208, May.
  4. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Information and Competitive Price Systems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(2), pages 246-53, May.
  5. Mason, Charles F., 1989. "Exploration information and AEC regulation of the domestic uranium industry," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 421-448, July.
  6. Victor P. Goldberg, 1977. "Competitive Bidding and the Production of Precontract Information," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(1), pages 250-261, Spring.
  7. Isaac, R. Mark, 1987. "The value of information in resource exploration: The interaction of strategic plays and institutional rules," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 313-322, December.
  8. Pindyck, Robert S, 1978. "The Optimal Exploration and Production of Nonrenewable Resources," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 841-61, October.
  9. Mason, Charles F., 1985. "Learning from exploration information : The case of uranium," Resources and Energy, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 243-257, September.
  10. Mason, Charles F., 1986. "Exploration, information, and regulation in an exhaustible mineral industry," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 153-166, June.
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