The market for nuclear power reactor decommissioning is expected to grow at 13.07% from USD 2,093.66 million in 2020 to USD 4,050.49 million in 2026. The outbreak of COVID-19 has no significant impact on the market. Major factors driving the market include the increasing number of nuclear reactors reaching operational retirement, declining prices of renewable power generation sources (i.e., wind & solar), rendering nuclear power less economical, and growing sensitivity toward environmental issues. However, the lifetime extension of nuclear power plants with favorable government policies is likely to hinder market growth.
- The decommissioning activity of commercial reactors is expected to dominate the market, owing to the end of the operational life of nuclear power reactors and fall in the cost of alternative energy generation sources.
- South Korea is one of the new markets for nuclear decommissioning and creates an opportunity for foreign players to provide the necessary expertise that the country needs to develop its decommissioning market.
- North America is expected to be a potential market for nuclear power reactor decommissioning, with the United States being the decommissioning being the major decommissioning hotspots in the region.
Key Market Trends
Commercial Reactors Expected to Dominate the Market
- As of October 2021, 441 commercial nuclear power plants were in operation across 32 countries. The United States had the largest nuclear electricity generation capacity and generated more nuclear electricity than any other country. France, with the second-largest nuclear electricity generation capacity and second-highest nuclear electricity generation, had the largest share.
- Several factors are responsible for the shutdown and decommissioning of commercial nuclear power plants, which include economic, regulatory, and social factors. Primarily, with the end of operational life and fall in the cost of alternative energy generation sources, such as solar and wind, made nuclear energy less cost-competitive. Moreover, following the Fukushima disaster of 2011, nuclear safety protocols have been upgraded globally, and this has levied additional costs for upgradation of infrastructure and increased operations and maintenance costs. Due to this, operators of many older commercial reactors, which have an operating life of 40 years but can be extended by 20 more years with infrastructural upgrades, are opting to decommission older units.
- The policy-level initiatives from the governments across the world have also led to the shutdown of nuclear power plants. The governments in many countries planned to reduce nuclear power in the energy mix of the country. Such regulatory policies are prevalent mostly among Western European states, which have a strong renewable portfolio and have serious concerns about the environmental footprint and potential risk of operating commercial nuclear power plants.
- Germany, as per its national policy, has plans to shutdown all of the country’s reactors by the end of 2022. Similarly, in 2017, Switzerland voted to phase-out nuclear power plants from the country. In September 2020, the Belgian government signed an agreement reaffirming its commitment of phasing out nuclear power by 2025. Spain has also declared that it will close 4 of its 7 operating commercial reactors by 2030 and close the rest 3 reactors within the next 5 years, completely phasing out nuclear generation by 2035.
- Further, the development of renewable energy technologies and increasing economic viability of the same has led to its massive development. The countries across the world are creating huge infrastructure pertaining to renewable power, which has offset the requirement for nuclear reactors. Moreover, nuclear power generation is being replaced by renewable energy sources, which led to the closure of nuclear reactors. Therefore, the surge in the development of renewable energy sources is a big boost for the nuclear reactor decommissioning market, globally.
- Therefore, owing to the above points, commercial rectors are expected to dominate the market during the forecast period.
North America Expected to Witness Significant Growth
- North America is one of the largest regions in terms of operable reactors across the world. The nuclear reactor decommissioning market is expected to witness significant growth, owing to the majority of demand coming from the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
- The United States is one of the largest nuclear power producers, accounting for almost 31% of the global nuclear power generated in 2020. The country’s nuclear reactors produced 790 TWh of electricity in 2020, representing a slight decrease of 2.3% from 2019.
- As of November 2021, the country has 93 operating nuclear power reactors with a combined capacity of 95.5 GWe in 30 states, operated by 30 different power companies. As of November 2021, two reactors are under construction with a capacity of 2.23 GWe.
- As the era of nuclear power winds down in the United States, the decommissioning of nuclear power plants is becoming a major industry. Private companies are acquiring these plants, taking over their licenses, liability, decommissioning funds, and waste contracts.
- Around 40 reactors with a combined capacity of 19.17 GWe were shut down, with the latest one being the Indian Point 3 shut down in April 2021. In December 2021, Holtec International received initial approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to acquire the Palisades plant in Covert, Michigan, to decommission and dismantle. In addition to this, around 198 reactors are expected to shut down by 2030.
- Therefore, owing to the above points, North America is expected to witness a significant growth in nuclear power reactor decommissioning market during the forecast period.
The nuclear power reactor decommissioning market is moderately fragmented. Some of the major players involved in the market include Babcock International Group PLC, Fluor Corporation, GE Hitachi Nuclear Services, AECOM, Bechtel Group, Inc., and Westinghouse Electric Company.
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1.2 Market Definition
1.3 Study Assumptions
4.2 Market Size and Demand Forecast in USD Million, Till 2026
4.3 Nuclear Power Generation Forecast in Twh, Till 2026
4.4 Recent Trends and Developments
4.5 Market Dynamics
4.6 Supply Chain Analysis
4.7 Porter's Five Forces Analysis
4.7.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers
4.7.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers
4.7.3 Threat of New Entrants
4.7.4 Threat of Substitute Products and Services
4.7.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry
5.1.1 Pressurized Water Reactor
5.1.2 Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor
5.1.3 Boiling Water Reactor
5.1.4 High-Temperature Gas Cooled Reactor
5.1.5 Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactor
5.1.6 Other Reactor Types
5.2.1 Commercial Power Reactor
5.2.2 Prototype Power Reactor
5.2.3 Research Reactor
5.3.1 Below 100 Mw
5.3.2 100-1000 Mw
5.3.3 Above 1000 Mw
5.4.1 North America
5.4.4 South America
5.4.5 Middle East & Africa
6.2 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players
6.3 Company Profiles
6.3.1 Babcock International Group plc
6.3.2 James Fisher & Sons plc
6.3.3 Northstar Group Services Inc.
6.3.4 Fluor Corporation
6.3.5 GE Hitachi Nuclear Services
6.3.6 Studsvik Ab
6.3.7 Enercon Services Inc.
6.3.8 Orano Group
6.3.10 Bechtel Group Inc.
6.3.11 Westinghouse Electric Company
A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes:
- Babcock International Group PLC
- James Fisher & Sons PLC
- NorthStar Group Services Inc.
- Fluor Corporation
- GE Hitachi Nuclear Services
- Studsvik AB
- Enercon Services Inc.
- Orano Group
- Bechtel Group Inc.
- Westinghouse Electric Company