Historical institutionalism is used to examine why successive British governments have had difficulties wrestling with the policy issues surrounding the promotion of nuclear power. Attention is drawn to the role of institutions and path dependency in creating the situation in which policy decisions have been taken. Analysis of documents and interviews with key participants was carried out. It is shown that nuclear power is seen by politicians as a solution to the problems of energy security and climate change. The British government faces a number of obstacles to overseeing a revival of nuclear power. These obstacles are imposed by shortages in the supply chain for key components, the operation of the electricity market itself, the complexity of the Britain’s regulatory system, and critical shortages in manpower in regulatory agencies. These obstacles have all arisen from the consequences of previous political decisions.
|Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part A: Journal of Power and Energy
|Published - 13 May 2012