Title: Irreversibilities and technological change: modularity as a new challenge for nuclear investments?

Authors: Karine Fiore

Addresses: Centre d'Analyse Economique, Universite Paul Cezanne, Aix-Marseille III 3 avenue Robert Schuman, 13628 Aix-en-Provence cedex 01, France

Abstract: Deregulation and care about global warming combined with the growing scarcity of fossil resources and the increasing world energy demand renew the interest for nuclear energy. Nuclear energy has great advantages but is the source of multiple and self-reinforced irreversibilities. Especially, nuclear investments are subject to a technological lock-in, which impedes the adoption of potentially more efficient and cleaner innovations. In this paper, we present a new industrial option likely to reduce nuclear irreversibilities: modularity of nuclear investments. We analyse the technological, economic and environmental implications and the limits of such investments.

Keywords: irreversibility reduction; nuclear technology; technical modularity; nuclear investment; nuclear energy; nuclear power; nuclear irreversibilities; economic implications; environmental implications; technological change; technological irreversibilities; technological lock-in; nuclear modularity; investment justification.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTG.2007.012362

International Journal of Technology and Globalisation, 2007 Vol.3 No.1, pp.88 - 102

Published online: 07 Feb 2007 *

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