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The Effect of Industrial Structure on Learning by Doing in Nuclear Power Plant Operation

Richard K. Lester and Mark J. McCabe
The RAND Journal of Economics
Vol. 24, No. 3 (Autumn, 1993), pp. 418-438
Published by: Wiley on behalf of RAND Corporation
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2555966
Page Count: 21
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Effect of Industrial Structure on Learning by Doing in Nuclear Power Plant Operation
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Abstract

Learning from experience in the nuclear industry has had a significant impact on the operating performance of light water reactor (LWR) power plants. Performance comparisons between the United States and France indicate that the relationship between experience and performance has been strongly influenced by industrial structure. In the United States, a sizable operating performance penalty has been paid both as a result of the diffusion of several types of LWR technology and because of the relative scarcity of multiunit sites caused by the fragmented structure of the electric utility industry. In France, by contrast, performance has benefited from the very high degree of plant design standardization and the prevalence of multiunit siting. These results suggest both short-term and long-term opportunities for improvement in the performance of the American nuclear industry.

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