Evaluating Nuclear Generation: Is Objectivity Impeded by Uncertainties in the Principles and Institutions of U.S. Utility Regulation?

Nuclear power is attempting a rebirth.  The nuclear construction era of the 1970s and 1980s tested the competence and credibility of our utilities and our regulators.  Shareholders absorbed billions in disallowances, consumers absorbed billions in cost overruns, and lenders took their own hit as some utilities neared or entered bankruptcy.  Before anyone—shareholders, management, regulators—re-commits to a technology whose total cost and waste disposal remains unknown, we need to self-critique:  Which features of utility regulation, when applied to nuclear construction, worked well, and which did not?  How can we ensure fact-based, accountable decisions?

Paper published by the National Regulatory Research Institute.