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What Can We Learn From The British Nuclear Power Experience?

In: The Uk Energy Experience A Model or A Warning?



    (Energy Programme, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9RF, UK)


AbstractNuclear power was always uneconomic in the UK, but under the old CEGB regime, this was largely concealed. Once negotiations to privatise nuclear power took place in 1988 and 1989, it became clear that nuclear power was too costly and too financially risky to be privatised in a competitive structure. In the last five years the public sector nuclear companies have achieved much improved financial results, almost entirely through a sharp increase in incomes consequent on making the AGRs work better. Serendipity rather than market forces is the predominant explanation for this improvement. In the attempt to privatise nuclear power again, lessons have been learned. It has finally become transparent that new nuclear investment remains unprofitable, and while it may be possible to sell the newer stations at a positive price, taxpayers and consumers will receive little from the very large investments and subsidies received by nuclear power over the years, and large unfunded liabilities will remain in the public sector

Suggested Citation

  • Gordon Mackerron, 1996. "What Can We Learn From The British Nuclear Power Experience?," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: The Uk Energy Experience A Model or A Warning?, chapter 18, pages 247-257 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  • Handle: RePEc:wsi:wschap:9781848161030_0018

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    More about this item


    Energy Studies; UK Energy; Environmental Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy
    • N74 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: 1913-
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • N54 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Europe: 1913-


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