Regulatory Capture in the First Spanish Nuclear Program (C.1951-1964)

Abstract: The commercial use of nuclear electricity represented an economic opportunity that adopted different national varieties. In Spain, the change from an “autarchic” to a “liberal” model of nuclear management consolidated the old interests of the national electric oligopoly. The objective of this article is to explain this process through a mesoeconomic perspective (inter-institutional dialectic). The main conclusion reached is that, in the face of a general hypothesis that defends the existence of a weak “reciprocal instrumentation” between political and economic interests during the transition from Francoist autarky to developmentalism, the theory of the regulatory capture is more convincing. That is, the capture of the State by the electric companies. Finally, the article should induce reflection regarding the importance that the assumption of past risks by Governments and companies may have in the assumption of current responsibilities (moratorium, dismantling, etc.).