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Environment and Energy

Environment and Energy

Catastrophic Liabilities from Nuclear Power Plants

(p.235) 9 Environment and Energy
Measuring and Managing Federal Financial Risk
Geoffrey HealHoward Kunreuther
University of Chicago Press

This chapter provides an overview of the economic value of environmental systems in mitigating natural disasters, and then considers the role of the federal government in managing these hazards and the potential liabilities that they may incur should there be a catastrophic disaster. The second part of the chapter focuses on nuclear power as a source of energy and asks whether the risks associated with this technology could be managed more efficiently by private insurance markets rather than through the current arrangements under the Price-Anderson (P-A) Act. The P-A Act imposes significant liabilities on the federal government should there be large-scale losses from a future accident at a nuclear power plant. To gain insights into an increased role for the private sector in managing this technology, programs by which other catastrophic risks are managed today are reviewed in the concluding portion of the chapter.

Keywords:   natural disasters, economic value, federal government, Price-Anderson Act, catastrophic risks, nuclear power plants

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