This article investigates forms of social, political, and economic organization conducive to nuclear power expansion. We begin by developing a theoretical framework of nuclear socio-political economy based primarily upon the evolution of nuclear energy in France. This framework posits that (1) strong state involvement in guiding economic development, (2) centralization of national energy planning, (3) campaigns to link technological progress to a national revitalization, (4) influence of technocratic ideology on policy decisions, (5) subordination of challenges to political authority, and (6) low levels of civic activism are influential factors in supporting development of nuclear power. Accordingly, we seek to verify the causal properties of these six catalysts for nuclear power expansion in two nations - India and China - that are on the brink of becoming major nuclear powers. We validate our framework by confirming the presence of the six catalysts during the initial nuclear power developmental periods in each country. We also apply our framework as a predictive tool by considering how present conditions in the two nations will impact nuclear power development trends. We conclude by highlighting the emergence of a potential seventh catalyst - the influence of greenhouse gas emission abatement policy on nuclear power development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Building and Construction
- Mechanical Engineering
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering