Estimating the Impacts, Damages and Benefits of Fuel Cycles: Insights from an Ongoing Study

  • Russell Lee
Conference paper


The purpose of this paper is to share some insights from an ongoing study of fuel cycle externalities. The fuel cycles being studied involve the use of coal, biomass, oil, hydro, natural gas, uranium, wind, and photovoltaic sources to generate electric power. Conservation options are also to be addressed.


Social Cost Fuel Cycle Economic Valuation Integrate Gasification Combine Cycle Indirect Emission 
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References and Endnotes

  1. 1.
    This paper is based on an ongoing study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Resources for the Future, for the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE). The study is a collaborative effort with a European research team funded by the Commission of the European Communities (EC). ORNL is managed by Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc. for DOE under contract DE-AC05-84OR21400. The author acknowledges the ideas and the many contributions of the whole research team, which are reflected in this paper. However, the views expressed in the paper are solely those of the author. Filenames: OTTING_3.PAP, APPB.BD, SITE.DRW.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Resources for the Future (1992) U.S.-EC Fuel Cycle Study: Background Document to the Approach and Issues. Report No. 1 on the External Costs and Benefits of Fuel Cycles: A Study by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Commission of the European Communities.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hohmeyer, O. (1988) Social Costs of Energy Consumption: External Effects of Electricity Generation in the Federal Republic of Germany. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag;Google Scholar
  4. Pace University Center for Environmental Legal Studies (Ottinger, R. L. et al.) (1990) Environmental Costs of Electricity. New York, NY: Oceana;Google Scholar
  5. Bonneville Power Administration-RPPC (1991) Environmental Costs and Benefits: Documentation and Supplementary Information, Portland, OR. February 22;Google Scholar
  6. Tellus Institute (S. S. Bernow and D. B. Marron) (1990) Valuation of Environmental Externalities for Energy Planning and Operations, Boston, MA;Google Scholar
  7. Hagler, Bailly Inc. (Rae, D. et al.) (1991) Valuation of Other Externalities: Air Toxics, Water Consumption, Wastewater and Land Use, prepared for the New England Power Service Company, Westborough, MA.Google Scholar
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    U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (1989) User’s Manual for OZIPM-4 (Ozone Isopleth Plotting With Optional Mechanisms), Vol 1. Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, RTP, NC, EPA-450/4-89-009a.Google Scholar
  9. 5.
    Discussions of these models are in Appendix C.1 of Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Resources for the Future (1992) Damages and Benefits of the Coal Fuel Cycle: Estimation Methods, Impacts, and Values. Prepared for the U. S. Department of Energy and the European Commission. Oak Ridge, TN: unpublished preliminary draft. The report is to be published after review and revision.Google Scholar
  10. 6.
    Data for the figure were based on preliminary calculations that have since been revised, though the point of the figure still holds: fuel cycle damages are generally site-specific.Google Scholar
  11. 7.
    For example: Krupnick, A. J. and R. J. Kopp (1988) “The Health and Agricultural Benefits of Reductions in Ambient Ozone in the United States,” Appendix to Office of Technology Assessment, U. S. Congress, Catching Our Breath: Next Step for Reducing Urban Ozone, Washington, D.C.;Google Scholar
  12. McDonnell, W. F., et al. (1991) “Respiratory Response of Humans Exposed to Low Levels of Ozone for 6.6 Hours,” Archives Environ. Health, 46(3), 145–150;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Larsen, R. L, et al. (1991) “An Air Quality Data Analysis System for Interrelating Effects, Standards, and Needed Source Reductions: Part 11, A Lognormal Model Relating Human Lung Function Decrease to O3 Exposure,” J. Air Waste Manage. Assoc., 41(4), 455–459.Google Scholar
  14. 8.
    Most of these issues are discussed concisely in Section 1.4 of the draft coal report (ORNL/RFF 1992).Google Scholar
  15. 9.
    For a critical assessment of contingent valuation of non-use values, see Cambridge Economics, Inc. (1992) Contingent Valuation: A Critical Assessment, proceedings from a conference held in Washington, D. C, April 2 and 3,1992.Google Scholar
  16. 10.
    Further discussion is provided by Alan Krupnick in Section 5.3 in ORNL/RFF (1992).Google Scholar
  17. 11.
    Freeman, A. M. III, et al. (1992) “Accounting for Environmental Costs in Electric Utility Resource Supply Planning,” Discussion Paper QE92-14, Resources for the Future, Quality of the Environment Division, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  18. 12.
    Discussion of the air transport modeling and dose-response functions are given throughout the ORNL/RFF (1992) draft coal report.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Russell Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.Oak Ridge National LaboratoryOak RidgeUSA

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