The global nuclear decommissioning market size exceeded USD 37.0 billion in 2017. The market has been mainly driven by the presence of a large number of shutdown reactors worldwide, aging nuclear power reactors and strong government policies encouraging the utilization of renewable energy over nuclear for power generation. Performance of the nuclear decommissioning industry will be critical for the future of nuclear power generation. Challenges faced by the nuclear decommissioning industry have been significant, spanning technical, financial, social and political issues.
U.S. holds a significant position in the global nuclear decommissioning market. The U.S. nuclear decommissioning market size ranged from USD 10 billion to USD 20 billion in 2016. Rising acquisition activities among leading players are expected to boost the U.S. nuclear decommissioning market size by the end of 2027.
According to the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM), there are around 99 nuclear plants operating in the U.S., which cater to nearly 20% of the electricity demand in the country. The nuclear operating fleet in the country has been the oldest across the globe and have an average unit life of 36 years. The retirement of these plants is expected to pace up in the next couple of years, owing to low encouragement towards plant extension licensing and rising economic constraints. This in turn, is expected to leverage the U.S. nuclear decommissioning market over the years ahead.
Since the Fukushima Daiichi plant accident, the overall energy policies along with nuclear power programmes and initiatives have been under the radar. Nuclear phase-out policies have been decided in some countries, which are expected to accelerate the dismantling operations, thus boosting the nuclear decommissioning market size. For instance, the federal government of Germany has planned to end its nuclear power programme through imposing nuclear power plant (NPP) phase out targets by the end of 2022. Enacted in August 2011, this government decision confirmed the immediate shutdown of eight units, with the remaining units to cease operation between 2015 and 2022.
Based on the type of reactors, the global nuclear decommissioning market is segmented as pressurized water reactors (PWR), boiled water reactors (BWR) and others. PWRs are the most common reactors currently. North America followed by Asia Pacific had the largest nuclear decommissioning market revenues for PWRs in 2017. Most number of BWRs being decommissioned are located in North America and Europe. Presence of other nuclear reactors including gas cooled reactors and fast breeding reactors are mostly preferred in European countries. UK, France, Spain and Germany have recently initiated the decommissioning a large fleet of their gas cooled reactors.
North America captured more than 45% of the global nuclear decommissioning market size in 2017. The nuclear reactors and their operations are regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in the U.S and Nuclear Safety Commission in Canada. Both of these oversight committees are independent arms of governments in the respective countries. These committees interact with the other regulatory authorities through International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA).
Europe is leading the shift away from nuclear energy to renewable energy. Significant number of shutdown reactors are located in Europe and most of them are up for decommissioning. France and Spain have adopted immediate decommissioning after shutdown. These two countries are the major nuclear decommissioning markets that are considered to offer attractive opportunities over the forecast period.
Most of the Asia Pacific countries are densely populated and have a considerable energy deficit. Countries such as China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Pakistan are in favor of building more nuclear power reactors to meet their energy needs. However, countries such as South Korea, Japan and India are moving towards renewable energy sources and away from nuclear energy. After the Fukushima incident, Japan has been rapidly shutting down and decommissioning many of its nuclear power reactors. At present, Japan and South Korea are the most attractive nuclear decommissioning markets in the Asia Pacific region.
Areva SA, Babcock International Group PLC, Enercon Services, Inc., NorthStar Group Services, Inc., Fluor Corporation, Studsvik AB, Nuvia Limited, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH), and Westinghouse Electric Company (WEC) are some of the major players operating in the nuclear decommissioning industry.
Nuclear Decommissioning Market Scope
|Forecast Unit||Value (USD)|
|Growth Rate||CAGR of over 5.0% during 2015-2025|
|Segment Covered||Reactor Type, Regions|
|Regions Covered||North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America, Rest of the World|
|Key Players Profiled||Areva SA, Babcock International Group PLC, Enercon Services, Inc., NorthStar Group Services, Inc., Fluor Corporation, Studsvik AB, Nuvia Limited, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH), and Westinghouse Electric Company (WEC)|
Key segments of the global nuclear decommissioning market:
Reactor Type Overview, 2016-2027 (Megawatts) (USD Billion)
- Pressurized water reactor (PWR)
- Boiling water reactor (BWR)
Regional Overview, 2016-2027, 2028-2037 & 2038-2047 (Megawatts) (USD Billion)
- North America
- Western Europe
- Eastern Europe
- Rest of Europe
- Asia Pacific
- South Korea
- Rest of Asia Pacific
- Rest of the World