The economics of nuclear power : four essays on the role of innovation and industrial organization

Abstract : This thesis studies the role of innovation and industrial structures in the nuclear power sector. The analysis of innovation is based on the use of patent data as a measure of innovation effort. On the one hand, we study the determinants of innovation and, on the other hand, its impact on operating and safety performance of existing nuclear reactors and on construction costs. We show that nuclear safety regulation can induce innovation and improve safety performance, but at the same time contributes to increases in construction costs. The analysis of the role of industrial structures allows us to study the impact of learning by doing opportunities both for construction and operation of reactors, as well as the effect of electricity market liberalization on operating performance. In particular, we show that the divestiture of electricity production and distribution activities induces a substantial improvement in the availability of nuclear reactors.
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Michel Berthélemy. The economics of nuclear power : four essays on the role of innovation and industrial organization. Economics and Finance. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, 2013. English. ⟨NNT : 2013ENMP0022⟩. ⟨pastel-00875147⟩

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