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Reconsidering the law and economics of low-level radioactive waste management

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  • Richard Benjamin
  • Jeffrey Wagner

Abstract

Several countries are striving to ensure adequate long-run disposal space for low-level radioactive waste (LLRW). In the United States, the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act of 1980 and its 1985 amendments comprise a menu of incentives and penalties designed to motivate the construction of regional LLRW disposal facilities—the operating premise. Congress wished to intervene in the marketplace to bring about a more equitable solution to the LLRW management problem. Some investigators forewarned years ago that the federal law was both inefficient and inequitable. Additionally, however, the law has proved ineffectual, as only one new disposal facility has emerged and that one (at Clive, UT) was created outside of the federal incentive structure. This article (1) provides an argument as to why the LLRW Act of 1980 and its subsequent amendments failed to elicit the regional system of LLRW facilities it envisioned, and (2) complements this argument with a comprehensive model of LLRW management. Copyright Springer Japan 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Benjamin & Jeffrey Wagner, 2006. "Reconsidering the law and economics of low-level radioactive waste management," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 8(1), pages 33-53, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:envpol:v:8:y:2006:i:1:p:33-53
    DOI: 10.1007/BF03353992
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    References listed on IDEAS

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