Small Modular Reactor Market Forecasts to 2028 – Global Analysis By Location (Land, Marine), Connectivity (Grid-Connected, Off-Grid), Application (Desalination, Hydrogen Production, Industrial) and By Geography
According to Stratistics MRC, the Global Small Modular Reactor Market is accounted for $9.70 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $13.74 billion by 2028 growing at a CAGR of 5.1% during the forecast period. Small modular reactors (SMRs) are defined as nuclear reactors having a power output of less than 300MWe. A major advantage of SMRs is their small size and shorter construction times compared to traditional bulk nuclear reactors. As an SMR is fully built in a factory using module fabrication, a high production rate can be achieved. SMRs are still in the design phase.
Reliability and flexibility of nuclear power
The flexible nature of nuclear energy could enable the transition to a cleaner world and a stronger global economy. In recent decades, clean energy sources have seen rapid innovations and cost reductions. Solar photovoltaic, wind power, hydropower, dispatchable geothermal (both deep and shallow), biomass, concentrating solar power, and fossil energy with carbon capture have experienced rapid technological and economic advances in the last decade. Nuclear energy has the potential to be coupled with many other energy sources in a synergistic fashion, which could result in integrated systems that are more than the sum of their parts.
Nuclear regulatory requirements for deployment of SMRs
The set of potential sites for the deployment of SMRs comes down as the EPZ radius increases. Furthermore, SMRs would have to be constructed closer to population centers to serve applications such as desalinated water or industrial heat sources. A smaller EPZ enlarges the market of potential customers for SMRs. Potential operators of SMRs such as electric utilities are also interested in smaller EPZs, as the size of the zone directly impacts the overall complexity of the emergency plan. Utilities have to pay for the various activities associated with the emergency plan to be implemented within the EPZ. These include the installation and maintenance of sirens, coordination with various local and state government offices during drill exercises, and the size of the staff associated with multiple emergency preparedness activities. Because utilities expect the facility's profits to be lower for an SMR compared with a traditional size nuclear unit, they seek to lower the cost and complexity of managing the emergency plan by reducing the size of the EPZ. The size of the EPZ has long been a source of conflict between the nuclear industry and federal and local governments. Such regulatory environments may hamper the growth of the small modular reactor market.
Decarbonization of energy sector to meet net zero goals
With the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015, the world would need to harness all low-carbon energy sources to control greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and limit the increase of global mean surface temperature to below 2° C relative to pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. Along with hydropower and wind energy, nuclear power produces one of the lowest GHG emissions per unit of electricity generated on a life cycle basis, including construction, operation, decommissioning, and waste management. SMRs could also support the decarbonization of other energy sectors requiring output temperatures between 80° C and 200° C, such as district heating applications and process heating applications. Light-water small modular reactors can be used for district heating applications. For example, in February 2020, The VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland launched a project to develop SMRs for district heating applications to decarbonize the heat sector. A majority of Finland’s district heating is currently produced by coal, natural gas, peat, and wood fuels. However, the country aims to eliminate the use of coal in energy production by 2029.
Public attitude towards nuclear power and deployment of small modular reactors
Many governments have reconsidered the role of nuclear energy in their national energy mix, although the issue of public acceptance is crucial for the successful development of SMRs. The public opinion in the countries that already include nuclear power in the energy mix is positive, as the population is more knowledgeable on the issues and is more supportive. The disposal of nuclear waste, risk of accidents, and radiation are the most common concerns associated with nuclear power. To get public acceptance for new SMR power stations, it is essential to develop a credible plan for a geological disposal facility, which would be an underground store for all radioactive waste from power stations. In addition, the potential for the recycling of spent nuclear fuel must be examined to gain public approval. SMR vendors need to build public awareness of the technology, as most SMRs are in the design and concept stages. The use of passive safety features and massive deployment of SMRs could improve the overall public attitude toward nuclear power plants.
The power generation segment is expected to have the highest CAGR during the forecast period
The power generation segment is growing at the highest CAGR in the market. Small modular reactors are majorly used to generate power. With global climate deteriorating at an alarming rate, several countries are looking for an alternative for coal-based power plants. These advanced small module reactors are the government’s initiative to generate clean, safe, and affordable nuclear power options.
The land segment is expected to be the largest during the forecast period
The land segment is expected to be the largest share due to the enhanced protection from natural hazards, potential for underground deployment, improved seismic capability, and higher thermal efficiencies are some of the major growth drivers for the land segment. Furthermore, These SMRs also have simpler licensing processes compared with marine SMRs.
Region with highest share:
North America is projected to hold the largest share in the market. Initiated by the US Congress through the Department of Energy, this is designed to spur the construction of an advanced reactor demonstrator within the few years. These proactive initiatives from North American governments are coupled with a noticeable uptick in public interest and budding support for nuclear power as an essential clean-energy source.
Region with highest CAGR:
The Asia Pacific is projected to have the highest CAGR due to the increasing investments for the deployment of SMRs in countries such as China and Japan. China plans to promote the construction of Generation III coastal nuclear power plants and accelerate the development of SMRs and offshore floating nuclear reactors. Furthermore, in Japan, the government has made several policy reforms to accelerate the decarbonization of the energy sector.
Key players in the market:
Some of the key players profiled in the Small Modular Reactor Market include Bechtel Corporation, Brookfield Asset Management, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), Fluor Corporation, General Atomics, General Electric Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Holtec International, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), Rolls Royce Plc., Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute Co., Ltd. (SNERDI), TerraPower LLC, Terrestrial Energy, Toshiba International Corporation, and X Energy LLC.
In December 2021: Fluor-backed NuScale power signed agreement to accelerate small modular reactor commercialization. Fluor expects that the proposed transaction will bolster and accelerate the path to commercialization and deployment of NuScale Power’s unique small modular nuclear reactor technology.
In November 2017: Rolls-Royce signed an agreement with the state-owned Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) to conduct a technical feasibility study to construct a Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactor (SMR) in Jordan to meet its need for low-carbon energy for electricity generation and water desalination.
Reactor Types Covered:
• Light Water Reactor (LWR)
• Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR)
• High Temperature Gas Reactor (HTR)
• Fast Neutron Reactor (FNR)
• Molten Salt Reactor (MSR)
• Integral Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR)
• Single-Module Power Plant
• Multi-Module Power Plant
• Hyrdrogen Production
• Power Generation
• Process Heat
• North America
Rest of Europe
• Asia Pacific
Rest of Asia Pacific
• South America
Rest of South America
• Middle East & Africa
Rest of Middle East & Africa
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