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By David Pearce, Lynne Edwards, Geoff Beuret (auth.)

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Additional info for Decision Making for Energy Futures: A Case Study of the Windscale Inquiry

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UK Energy Policy 13 We may now attempt a rough translation of these figures into actual nuclear power station construction data, since it will be argued that both the entire nuclear programme and its constituent parts, the single investments, are likely to be candidates for public debate nationally or locally. The Green Paper scenario implies 41 GW of installed nuclear capacity in the year 2000. 2 Nuclear capacity in the year 2000 Existing magnox reactors 4GW 6GW 35GW 4GW 41GW + At completion of AGR* programme + Extra capacity to 2000 - Retirement of magnox plant Installed capacity in 2000 * Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor.

If the advocates of the policy are correct in their assessments of costs, this will raise the expected value of the net benefits (increase the discounted present value) if a discount rate is used. If the discount rate is zero, then of course, delays will not affect the present value unless they reverberate through the economy in some manner which is not invariant with time. Our argument is that issues such as nuclear power should be on the national agenda and this argument is unaffected by the fact that nuclear power is an issue.

Coal technology has been with us for many years, the industry is established and is 'part of a lifestyle'. While doubling coal output would be a major task over, say, 25 or 50 years, few would treat it as being a source of deep concern (although it should be). All this said, the way in which demands become issues and issues get on to the agenda remains a much under-researched area.

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