Nuclear Decommissioning Services
Over 319 Reactors Worldwide Are Aged Over 30 Years. The Higher Maintenance Load Sends Nuclear Decommissioning Services on an Accelerated Path to Growth at 5.9%
The global market for Nuclear Decommissioning Services is projected to reach US$7.9 billion by the year 2027, trailing a post COVID-19 CAGR of 5.9%, over the analysis period 2020 through2027. The world can never put behind the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. A dangerous mix of challenges currently confronts the nuclear power industry. Stiff competition from low-cost natural gas; increased focus on cost cutting; reduced emphasis on safety, represent a lethal cocktail of trends in the industry. To ensure continued operation, reactor owners now need to take proactive measures in preventing aging-related failures. Intensive monitoring and preventive maintenance needed by aging reactors is expected to push up demand for nuclear decommissioning services. Despite several issues and challenges, nuclear power is gaining acceptance as an essential component for creating a balanced energy mix that provides energy security and the flexibility to adapt to changing political, economic and environmental dynamics in every geographic region. Europe represents the largest Nuclear Power market worldwide, followed by the United States. The U.S. emerged as the single largest market for nuclear electricity over the years, followed by Russia, France, and Japan. While established nuclear countries such as the US and UK are expected to remain the core markets for nuclear energy projects, future demand is anticipated from the Asian market, in particular China and India. In addition to spearheading projects across countries such as the UK, Argentina, Romania, and Pakistan, China is pursuing opportunities across Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Thailand, and Turkey.
Nuclear power represents a major energy source, accounting for about 11% of the global electricity generation. Reflecting the diversity of nuclear power generation pattern across the world, the energy's quotient in the total electricity generated across the 31 nations with nuclear power generation capability, ranges from 75% to about 2% with France and China representing the two extremes. The US, France and Germany are the world's largest consumers of nuclear power, followed by Japan, Russia, and Korea. India, China, as well as South-East Asia feature are expected to lead the world in terms of nuclear reactors adoption. While Europe is witnessing the development of new nuclear power plants in Russia, the UK, France, Romania and Finland, the US is focusing on expanding the life of its nuclear reactors. Meanwhile in and Asia, aggressive investments are being earmarked for building new nuclear power capacities in countries like China and India, while Japan is poised to restart several of the long-term discontinued nuclear reactors. Up gradation of existing nuclear technologies and transition to next generation systems is expected to continue unfazed by controversies surrounding safety and security of nuclear power. The drive to achieve greater efficiency and maximum safety in comparison with earlier generation plants is fingered as a key factor lending traction to investments in this space.
Nuclear decommissioning is progressive dismantling or demolition of a nuclear facility to ensure nuclear safety and eliminate the requirement of radiation protection. Nuclear decommissioning holds critical significance as these facilities have radioactive materials, and involves processes that are time-intensive, expensive, hazardous, and pose environmental risks. The process must ensure safe transportation or on-site storage of radioactive materials. Decommissioning involves cleanup of radioactive substances, followed by progressive dismantling of a facility to eliminate radiological danger. Nuclear decommissioning releases a nuclear facility from the regulatory control, with the plant licensee no longer holding responsibility for nuclear safety of the plant.The need to decommission a nuclear facility depends on several factors such as service life of a plant, political decisions and radiological risk. All nuclear power plants hold a specific life, from 30-60 years, and need to retire following end of their useful life. Facilities that are no more economically viable or profitable to operate must be decommissioned, demolished and cleaned up to make the site available for other purposes. In the recent decades, a large number of nuclear facilities with commercial power nuclear reactors, prototype or experimental reactors and research reactors have been dismantled. Majority of commercial, early commercial and prototype units nearing the retirement age have been decommissioned. On the other hand, various facilities have been shut down following serious incident, accident or political decisions. Since majority of parts of these nuclear facilities are not contaminated or became radioactive, they can be recycled.
Competitors identified in this market include, among others,
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