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Applied Managerial Economics

Respond to the following scenario with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. Be substantive and clear, and use research to reinforce your ideas.

You’re meeting with Lester in his office to discuss the details of your presentation to the board next week.

“Given all of the research that you have completed over the past several weeks,” he says, “you should have most of the information you need to make a presentation to the board. The board doesn’t want you to do any more research on all of the topics; rather, we want you to summarize the research that you have already done. “

“Yes,” you say. “I think I have what I need.”

“Of course we want your final conclusion and recommendation on what the company should do regarding the location issue, as well,” he says.

“What type of presentation do you have in mind, Lester?”

“A PowerPoint presentation would be appropriate for this group,” he says. “I want you to include slide notes, too, in case we have to go back and look at something at a later date. Your PowerPoint presentation should contain between 7-10 slides, not including the title slide and reference slide(s). For each slide, you should have between 150–200 words in the Notes sections. Let’s take a few minutes now to go over how the slides should be organized. I’ve done similar presentations, so I can save you some time with a few pointers.”

When you get back to your office, you type out your notes about each element you discussed and the overall organization of the presentation. For this presentation, you are addressing the following elements:

Legal, social, and financial factor considerations
Economic factors: gross domestic product (GDP), inflation, interest rates, unemployment
Elasticity of demand
Economies of scale and efficiency
Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT)
Market structure
Risk
Costs (marginal, fixed, variable, etc.)
International expansion (Five factors that should be considered before making the decision to expand internationally)
7-10 slides + 150 words per slide in the notes

Sample Solution

ucial and recurring issue with nuclear power is that it requires huge upfront costs, especially when plants are built individually, and can only provide revenue years after the start of construction. This means that investment into nuclear is risky, long term and cannot be done well on a small scale, though new technologies such as SMRs (Small Modular Reactors) may change this in the coming decades, making it a much bigger gamble. Improvements in other technologies over the period of time a nuclear plant is built means that is often better for private firms, who are less likely to be able to afford large scale programs enabling significant cost reductions or a lower debt to equity ration in their capital structure, to invest in more easily scalable and shorter term energy sources, especially with subsidies favouring renewables in many developed countries. All of this points to the fundamental flaw of nuclear: that it requires going all the way. Small scale nuclear programs that are funded mostly with debt, that have high discount rates and low capacity factors as they are switched off frequently will invariably have a very high Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) as nuclear is so capital intensive. That said, the reverse is true as well. Nuclear plants have very low operating costs, almost no external costs and the cost of decommissioning a plant are only a small portion of the initial capital cost, even with a low discount rate such as 3%, due to the long lifespan of a nuclear plant and the fact that many can be extended. Operating costs include fuel costs, which are extremely low for nuclear, costing only 0.0049 USD per kWh, and non-fuel operation and maintenance costs which are barely higher at 0.0137 USD per kWh. This includes waste disposal, a frequently cited political issue that has no longer been relevant technically for decades as waste can be reused relatively well and stored on site safely at very low costs simply because the quantity of fuel used and therefore waste produced is so small. The fuel, uranium is abundant and technology enabling uranium to be extracted from sea water would give access to a 60,000 year supply at present rates of consumption so costs from ‘resource depletion’ are also small. Finally, external costs represent a very small proportion of running costs: the highest estimates for health costs and potential accident are at 5€/MWh and 4€/MWh respec
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