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Nuclear Power Reactor Decommissioning Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

·7-min read

The nuclear power reactor decommissioning market was valued at USD 1728. 7 million in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 3868. 7 million by 2027, registering a CAGR of 13. 8% during the forecast period of 2022-2027.

New York, July 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- announces the release of the report "Nuclear Power Reactor Decommissioning Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)" -
The COVID-19 outbreak has had 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 and solar), rendering nuclear power less economical, and growing sensitivity towards environmental issues. However, the lifetime extension of nuclear power plants with favorable government policies is expected to hinder market growth.

Key Highlights
The decommissioning activity of commercial reactors is expected to dominate the market due to the end of the operational life of nuclear power reactors and fall in the cost of alternative energy generation sources.
Nuclear phase-out policies in several countries such as Germany, United Kingdom, South Korea are expected to creates several opportunities for foreign and domestic players to provide the necessary expertise that the countries needs to develop their decommissioning market.
North America is expected to be the fastest growing market for nuclear power reactor decommissioning, with the United States being one of the major decommissioning hotspots in the region.

Key Market Trends

Commercial Reactors Segment 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. Moreover, France, as the second-largest nuclear electricity generation capacity and second-highest nuclear electricity generation, held the largest market share in 2020.
Several factors are responsible for the shutdown and decommissioning of commercial nuclear power plants, including economic, regulatory, and social factors. Primarily, 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, which has levied additional costs for the 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 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 their countries. Such regulatory policies are prevalent among Western European states with a strong renewable portfolio and serious concerns about the environmental footprint and potential risk of operating commercial nuclear power plants. ?
Germany, as per its national policy, has plans to shut down 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 to phasing-out nuclear power by 2025. Spain has also declared that it will close four of its seven operating commercial reactors by 2030 and close the rest three reactors within the next five 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. 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 global nuclear reactor decommissioning market.?
Therefore, commercial rectors are expected to dominate the market during the forecast period due to the aforementioned factors.

North America Expected to Witness Significant Growth

North America is one of the largest regions in terms of operable reactors worldwide. The market for nuclear power reactor decommissioning is expected to witness significant growth, owing to the majority ofdemand coming from the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
The United States is one of the largest nuclear power producers, accounting for more than 30% of the global nuclear power generated in 2021. The country’s nuclear reactors produced 778.15 TWh of electricity in 2021, representing a slight decrease of 1.48% from 2020.
As of May 2022, the United States has 92 operating nuclear power reactors with a combined capacity of 94.7 GWe in 30 states, used by 30 different power companies. In addition, two reactors are under construction with a total 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 significant industry. Private companies are acquiring these plants, taking over their licenses, liability, decommissioning funds, and waste contracts. Around 41 reactors with a combined capacity of 19.97 GWewere shut down, with the latest one being the Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan shut down in May 2022. In December 2021, HoltecInternational received approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to acquire the Palisades plant in Covert, Michigan, to decommission and dismantle the plant. Additionally, around 198 reactors are expected to shut down by 2030.
The nuclear reactor fleet of the United States is now aging. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering applications for extending operating licenses beyond 60 to 80 years with its subsequent license renewal (SLR) program. However, some plant owners recently opted for early retirements of their nuclear units at 45 to 50 years old.
Over the past decade, intense competition from electricity generation using low-cost shale gas has hurt the competitiveness of the nuclear power industry in the country. Moreover, record low wholesale electricity prices plus the high cost of life extension (PLEX) upgrades have together driven early nuclear plant retirements.
For many years, Canada has been a leader in nuclear research and technology, exporting reactor systems developed in Canada. In 2021, Canada generated 92.6 TWh of electricity from nuclear power plants, accounting for about 15% of the total electricity generation mix. As of July 2021, 19 operable reactors located in Ontario with a combined capacity of 13,624 Mwe and around six reactors with a combined capacity of 2.14 GW were shut down.
As of July 2021, Canada has a variety of research and prototype power reactors that are no longer in use and have been shut down. These reactors are in a safe storage state and awaiting final decommissioning. Some of these reactors include the WR-1, the NRX reactor at Chalk River Laboratories (CRL), the MAPLE-1 and MAPLE-2 (Multipurpose Applied Physics Lattice Experiment) reactors at CRL, the Gentilly-1 nuclear generating station in Bécancour, QC, the Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) reactor in Rolphton, ON, and The Douglas Point nuclear-generating station in Kincardine, ON. These, in turn, are likely to drive the demand for the country’s nuclear power reactor decommissioning market during the forecast period.
Therefore, owing to the above points, North America is expected to witness significant growth in the nuclear power reactor decommissioning market during the forecast period.

Competitive Landscape

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, and Westinghouse Electric Company.

Additional Benefits:

The market estimate (ME) sheet in Excel format
3 months of analyst support
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