Authors: Richard Wilson
Addresses: Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, UK
Abstract: This paper traces various aspects of nuclear electrical power from about 1970 when it burst on the world scene, starting in the USA and spreading rapidly to the rest of the world. Taking the US situation as typical, and perhaps dominant, I show that the cost of nuclear electricity was cheap in 1973, and the developments since then mostly related to public perception, that made it more expensive. I then describe changes since 1995 that lead me to a cautiously optimistic view that public opinion is changing again and that the cost of nuclear energy will drop as public opinion becomes more favourable.
Keywords: nuclear energy; nuclear power; renewable energy; fission; nuclear reactors; uranium; plutonium; coolant; radiation; sustainability; sustainable development; nuclear electricity; public perception.
International Journal of Global Energy Issues, 2007 Vol.28 No.2/3, pp.138 - 160
Published online: 27 Nov 2007 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article