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Posts from December 0

The Failure of Nuclear Power (Remembering the bad start from government policy)

By William Beaver -- May 5, 2011

“In the long run, [government] subsidies can stifle technological progress and retard true commercialization.  If state-of-the art technologies find a market, some of the private incentive for further improvement is dissipated. The acceptable becomes the enemy of the better, because individual firms come to have a stake in present technology. Minor improvements will be made to stay ahead of the competition, but there is little motivation toward major steps away from a successful line of business. Once a basic design is established, it also becomes more difficult for federal research and development managers to support radically different approaches to the same problem. There is fear of appearing foolish, hesitation in seeming to second-guess prior decisions, concern about upsetting investment in the operating technology, and pressure to satisfy competing demands for funds to support marginal improvements to current practice.”