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December 28, 2011
Brattle Principal Marc Chupka Featured on NPR Segment Discussing the Future of Nuclear Power after Fukushima

Brattle principal Marc Chupka was featured on a National Public Radio (NPR) segment, “After Fukushima: A Changing Climate for Nuclear,” where he discussed how the current economics of nuclear power could impact future investments.

The segment, which aired on December 24, 2011, examined how the nuclear meltdown that occurred at Fukushima in Japan reminded people of the risks associated with nuclear plants, despite improvements in safety. Although the catastrophic event has altered the landscape of nuclear power worldwide, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is currently renewing 10 licenses for U.S. plants, extending their operation for another 20 years, and approving new plant designs.

Mr. Chupka, an expert in the analysis of market impacts of energy and environmental policy, cautioned that plans for constructing nuclear plants may not receive funding from investors due to heightened construction costs and the fact that natural gas is both cheaper and more readily available. Mr. Chupka also explained that it takes about a dozen years to construct a nuclear plant and the industry could face significant changes over short periods of time.

“That makes it an incredibly challenging environment to plan for the long term. And that adds to the risk and it makes investors understandably skittish,” Mr. Chupka said during the broadcast.

To listen to the entire segment, please visit the NPR website.