Nuclear new build in the United States 1990-2010: A three state analysis

Raphael J. Heffron

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    This research examines nuclear energy policy across three states in the United States (US) – Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Texas – from 1990 to 2010. Therefore, the nuclear energy crisis at Fukushima in Japan March 2011 is beyond the scope of this paper. Nevertheless, the fundamental conclusions of this research remain valid, as the impact of Fukushima is not yet known and in addition the US has experienced its own crisis in Three Mile Island, which has shaped its own nuclear industry to an extent already. Interviews are at the core of the research methodology employed, which is similar to other in-depth studies on nuclear new build. The aim of this paper is to identify and clarify those aspects of the legal, economic, and political requirements of the US that affect prospects for nuclear new build but which, so far, have not been well understood by experts. The research provides these new insights through a unique comparison of US states which have deregulated, regulated and ‘hybrid’ electricity markets. It is evident that law can play a central role in the nuclear energy sector, and the role of state-driven policy in the nuclear energy sector is also demonstrated. Further, the methodology identifies key assumptions within the nuclear sector in the US that are contested, and delivers lessons on how these contested issues may be resolved. The paper adds to the literature in public administration, legal development and nuclear energy policy, and in particular nuclear new build.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)876-892
    Number of pages7
    JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


    • Nuclear energy policy
    • Nuclear new build
    • Technology
    • Lessons learned
    • State law
    • Public administration


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