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I wonder what this means: an open-ended, all-or-nothing licensing process. And what does it mean in the context: streamlined approval?

This approach will need a sensible regulatory framework. Currently, as M.I.T.’s Richard Lester, a nuclear engineer, has written, a company proposing a new reactor design faces “the prospect of having to spend a billion dollars or more on an open-​ended, all‑or‑nothing licensing process without any certainty of outcomes.” We need government on the side of this clean-energy transformation, with supportive regulation, streamlined approval, investment in research and incentives that tilt producers and consumers away from carbon.

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The phrase "streamlined approval" means a fast-track way to obtain a licence. The sentence is making a comparison between the existing method

having to spend a billion dollars or more ... without any certainty of outcomes

and the proposed

supportive regulation, streamlined approval, investment in research and incentives

The phrase "tilt producers and consumers away from carbon" indicates the topic is about combating climate change, and the whole statement proposes that little can happen without a fundamental change to the whole approach to energy generation.

The phrase "all-or-nothing" means that, with the present regulatory system, the industrialist has to commit his full resources to the project, and will either succeed in obtaining a licence, or lose it all.

The phrase "open-ended" means that the developer might be asked for more and more proof of compliance by the regulator (and thus more expenditure), and yet might still not obtain a licence.

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  • Thank you Weather Vane. It's much appreciated. – Mankak Apr 8 '19 at 12:27

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