Studies quantifying the contributions of nuclear energy to the countries that operate them are scant. The aim of this study, therefore, is to investigate both qualitatively and quantitatively these benefits, which have proven to be significant. We present estimates of the value of nuclear energy in terms of economics, the environment, security, and social issues, specifically for nuclear energy used in Korea. This study also suggests an approach to quantitatively measure and compare the value of energy ultimately for the generation of electricity from different energy sources
Input-Output analysis was used to find out the economic contribution of energy sources. Nuclear energy contributes a similar amount of electricity that coal power plants do but, surprisingly, its value added GDP contribution is almost twice that of coal. Coal, oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and nuclear contribute 0.47%, 0.05%, 0.23%, and 0.92% to the value added GDP, respectively. While this may seem small, the four major industries in Korea - primary iron and steel products, semiconductors and related devices, motor vehicles, and petroleum refinery products - contributed 1.3%, 2.1%, 2.2%, and 2.9% to GDP in that same year, respectively.
To measure the environmental effect, a carbon-tax scenario was used. Considering both health effects and the carbon-tax scenario, nuclear had the lowest environmental cost at 0.29 won/kWh. Coal had the highest at 24.47 won/kWh, followed by oil at 19.52 won/kWh, and LNG at 12.98 won/kWh. Therefore, if the carbon-tax (or some constraint) is imposed for future and current environmental concerns, nuclear energy’s competitiveness will only increase.
In spite of the importance of nuclear energy for electricity generation in Korea, the public’s attitude towards nuclear energy is not favorable. This negative social perception was defined as the social cost of nuclear energy. To estimate it, a Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) was utilized. This method e...