Can Nuclear Power Solve the Global Warming Problem?

Posted: 11 Aug 2005

See all articles by Ujjayant Chakravorty

Ujjayant Chakravorty

Tufts University

Bertrand Magne

University of Toulouse I

Michel Moreaux

University of Toulouse 1 - Groupe de Recherche en Economie Mathématique et Quantitative (GREMAQ)

Date Written: July 2005

Abstract

Can nuclear power, which is carbon free, solve the global warming problem? It is a tough sell in the advanced countries, but many new nuclear power plants are under construction in the developing world. We develop an empirical Hotelling model that accounts for the limited stock of uranium, future efficiency improvements in nuclear technology and recycling of nuclear waste. We show that currently known stocks of uranium may be exhausted in a few decades. But advanced nuclear technology can provide clean energy for a longer time. The scarcity of uranium makes nuclear power costly in the future with modest technological change in fossil fuels and solar energy. Because of price-induced substitution, the current price of carbon under a Kyoto-type climate agreement may be much lower than what is generally expected.

Keywords: Clean Energy, Dynamic Models, Energy Resources, Hotelling Theory, Resource Substitution

JEL Classification: Q32, Q41, Q48

Suggested Citation

Chakravorty, Ujjayant and Magne, Bertrand and Moreaux, Michel, Can Nuclear Power Solve the Global Warming Problem? (July 2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=781245 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.781245

Ujjayant Chakravorty (Contact Author)

Tufts University ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

Bertrand Magne

University of Toulouse I ( email )

Place Anatole France
Toulouse Cedex, F-31042
France

Michel Moreaux

University of Toulouse 1 - Groupe de Recherche en Economie Mathématique et Quantitative (GREMAQ) ( email )

Manufacture des Tabacs
21 Allees de Brienne
Toulouse, 31000
France

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