In the International Monetary Fund’s December 2015 issue of Finance and Development, Catherine Hausman co-authors “The Power of the Atom” with Lucas Davis. The article explores how the global presence of nuclear power has changed since its sensationalism in the 1970s. While nuclear power now meets 10 percent of world-wide electricity demand, “it has proved remarkably difficult to scale up this technology cheaply enough to compete with fossil fuels,” write the authors.
Hausman cites the challenges to expanding nuclear power, such as construction cost overruns, public opinion following the Fukushima accident in 2011, and cheaper alternative fuel sources. Hausman concludes, “A confluence of factors could make nuclear power a viable economic option. Otherwise, nuclear power will fall over time as a fraction of electricity generation.”
Catherine Hausman is an assistant professor at the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.