Nuclear Power in Stagnation
A Cultural Approach to Failed Expansion
This book studies the extent to which nuclear safety issues have contributed towards the stagnation of nuclear power development around the world, and accounts for differences in safety regulations in different countries.
In order to understand why nuclear development has not met widespread expectations, this book focusses on six key countries with active nuclear power programmes: the USA, China, France, South Korea, the UK, and Russia. The authors integrate cultural theory and theory of regulation, and examine the links between pressures of cultural bias on regulatory outcomes and political pressures which have led to increased safety requirements and subsequent economic costs. They discover that although nuclear safety is an important upward driver of costs in the nuclear power industry, this is influenced by the inherent need to control potentially dangerous reactions rather than stricter nuclear safety standards. The findings reveal that differences in the strictness of nuclear safety regulations between different countries can be understood by understanding differences in cultural contexts and the changes in this over time.
This book will be of great interest to students, scholars, and policymakers working on energy policy and regulation, environmental politics and policy, and environment and sustainability more generally.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Using Ecological Political Theory to Understand Differences in Nuclear Safety Regulation
Chapter 3. Nuclear Power: The Missing ‘Renaissance’
Chapter 4. Nuclear Reactor Safety Politics in the USA
Chapter 5. Nuclear Power and Safety in China
Chapter 6. France, Nuclear Power and Safety Policy
Chapter 7. Nuclear Energy and Safety in South Korea: From Development to Ecological Modernisation
Chapter 8. Nuclear Safety Politics in the UK
Chapter 9. Nuclear power and Safety Policy in Russia
Chapter 10. Conclusion
David Toke is Reader in Energy Politics at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, UK.
Geoffrey Chun-Fung Chen is Associate Professor of Political Economy at the Department of China Studies at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University which is located at Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China.
Antony Froggatt is Senior Research Fellow in the Energy, Environment, and Development Programme at Chatham House, London, UK.
Richard Connolly is Senior Lecturer in Political Economy and Director of the Centre for Russian, European, and Eurasian Studies at the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK.
"In this fresh, engaging, and thought-provoking text, the authors explore up-to-date cases to consider the factors that have caused nuclear power to fail to deliver. Critics and supporters of nuclear energy alike will find much to ponder and reflect upon."-- Keith Baker, State University of New York – Brockport, USA
"Nuclear Power in Stagnation offers one of the most erudite and interdisciplinary assessments of the technology to date. The exploration of themes such as security, safety, and politics are rich yet readable, the national case studies carefully selected and diverse, covering France to Russia, the United States to South Korea." -- Benjamin Sovacool, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, UK
"This comprehensive research study tackles critical policy, regulatory, and cultural issues, both empirically and theoretically across China, France, Russia, South Korea, UK, and the US. This important study broadens and deepens our understandings of global conundrums and more localised cultural and regulatory variabilities converging to displace nuclear energy as a viable 21st century energy source." -- Majia H. Nadesan, Arizona State University, USA
"This new study shows that, while safety does add to the costs of nuclear, in countries like the USA, with less strict safety regulation, nuclear power has not done conspicuously better in economic terms compared, for example, to tightly regulated France. With nuclear power now in crisis in many countries, this book provides some useful insights into what is killing it off - and it’s not just the cost of trying to make it safe." -- David Elliott, Open University, UK