Uses concepts from social theory to explore the history and future of nuclear power in the U. S. and to explore the nature of technological change in the U. S. economy.
This book weaves together nuclear power and social theory to explain the history and predict the future of nuclear power in the United States and to explore the determinants of technological change in the U. S. economy. The first half of the book looks at who promoted nuclear power, how they did it, and why nuclear costs and hazards were systematically underestimated. The second half looks at current debates about the technology's future through the lens of its history.
Steven Mark Cohn is Associate Professor of Economics at Knox College.
"Too Cheap to Meter is a must read for anyone interested in nuclear power; it is no less rewarding for students of technology, epistemology, or the sociology of knowledge. [It] illuminates the economic, political, and scientific basis of the rise and demise of nuclear power with a sophisticated and original interpretation of the coevolution of technologies and scientific understanding. " — Samuel Bowles, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
"This is an important history which should capture the interests of those concerned with what energy sources will be used in the next generation. Cohn achieves two goals, the history of the rise and fall of nuclear power as a dominant paradigm and also how such paradigms are socially constructed. He successfully brings together social science theory and engineering. " — David W. Noble, American Studies, University of Minnesota
"Cohn has a deep insight into the logic of the nuclear power debate. He understands why nuclear enthusiasts believe that solutions exist to current problems and why nuclear critics disagree. " — Lawrence M. Lidsky, Department of Nuclear Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"This book is the most profound and rigorous work on the political economy of nuclear power to date. It is destined to become the definitive chronicle of the rise and fall of nuclear power. " — Charles Komanoff, author of Power Plant Cost Escalation
"Professor Cohn's work on the economics of nuclear power is the best overall economic evaluation I know of. I rely on it, and you should too. " — Arjun Makhijani, President, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research