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Global Nuclear Decommissioning Market Research Report Forecast to 2030
The global Nuclear Decommissioning market is expected to experience robust growth from 2022 to 2030. With a value of USD 5,173 million in 2021, the market is projected to reach USD 12,801 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 10.87%.
As of July 1, 2021, there are currently 196 decommissioned reactors worldwide, with a combined capacity of 90.4 GW. Over the past two years, seven additional reactors (5.5 GW) have been officially shut down, including plants in Russia, Sweden, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Europe accounts for nearly 60% of the closed units, with 93 in Western Europe and 24 in Central and Eastern Europe. North America follows with approximately a quarter of the closed units (46), while Asia constitutes about one-sixth. The three main reactor technologies used in these decommissioned plants are pressurized water reactors (PWRs), boiling water reactors (BWRs), and gas-cooled reactors (GCRs). The United Kingdom has the largest number of GCRs, with 29 units.
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USD 5.2 billion in 2020
Reactor Type, Strategy, Capacity, and Region
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The number of decommissioned reactors is expected to rise significantly in the future. Based on an average lifespan of 40 years for reactors connected to the grid between 1981 and 1990, an additional 180 reactors are estimated to be shut down by 2030, with another 132 reactors to follow by 2060. Overall, it is anticipated that 411 nuclear facilities, including 295 commercial nuclear power plants and around 116 research reactors, will be phased out by 2040. This will result in the removal of approximately 260 GW of energy generation capacity from the grid. To compensate for this significant capacity gap, alternative generation methods will need to be developed. Failure to do so could lead to a substantial decline in the nuclear industries of countries such as the United States, France, Japan, and Russia, which will see a total of 253 nuclear plants reach the decommissioning phase by 2040.
The large number of decommissioning projects on a national and global scale will pose challenges for operators and policymakers. It will be crucial to establish national nuclear repositories and effective infrastructure for decommissioning highly radioactive waste. Currently, no nation has fully operational facilities for these purposes. While some nuclear power plants operate beyond the initially planned 40-year lifespan, this is not the norm.
The increasing demand for energy worldwide has driven the emergence of alternative energy sources. Environmental concerns, including ozone depletion and greenhouse gas emissions contributing to rising temperatures, have prompted the adoption of renewable energy sources in the market.
Moreover, countries with access to nuclear energy and alternative energy sources have a reduced risk associated with relying solely on nuclear power. This has influenced the decommissioning timeline for nuclear plants in these countries.
Furthermore, the growing awareness of environmental issues has become a driving force behind the growth of the nuclear power reactor decommissioning market. Decommissioning involves the removal of nuclear fuel from power plants and the termination of operating licenses. The increasing environmental sensitivity among stakeholders has contributed to the revenue growth of the nuclear decommissioning market globally.
The market is segmented based on various factors, including reactor type, strategy, capacity, and region.
Segmentation by Reactor Type
Segmentation by Strategy
Segmentation by Capacity
Up to 800MW
Segmentation by Geography
North America – US, Canada
Europe – Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Rest of Europe
APAC – China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, Rest of Asia-Pacific
Rest of the World – Middle East, Africa, Latin America
The Nuclear Decommissioning market has been analyzed and segmented based on reactor type, strategy, capacity, and region. In terms of reactor type, the market is divided into PWR, BWR, and Others (including GCR), with PWR accounting for the largest share of 63.9% in 2021. The PWR segment was valued at USD 3,304.93 million in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 8,809.04 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 11.96%. The BWR segment, valued at USD 741.61 million in 2021, is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.51% from 2022 to 2030. PWRs are highly preferred due to their stability and ease of operation, contributing to the growth of this segment.
Regarding strategy, the Nuclear Decommissioning market is classified into immediate dismantling, deferred dismantling, and entombment. Immediate dismantling dominates the market with a share of 48.3% in 2021, followed by deferred dismantling and entombment. The choice of strategy depends on national policy, with each approach having its advantages and downsides. Immediate dismantling ensures that future generations are not burdened with decommissioning tasks, while deferred dismantling and entombment allow for the reduction of residual radioactivity and the possibility of utilizing experienced staff.
Based on capacity, the market is segmented into 800MW, 801MW-1000MW, above 1000MW, and others. The up to 800MW segment is expected to lead the market in the forecast period, particularly in Europe, for the decommissioning of power plants with capacities under 800MW. However, the 801MW-1000MW segment is anticipated to be the fastest-growing segment in the industry.
In terms of region, Europe holds the largest market share of 56.2% in 2021, followed by North America and Asia Pacific. Europe’s nuclear decommissioning market, valued at USD 4.1 billion in 2021, is expected to experience higher growth due to increasing concerns about environmental issues. The Asia-Pacific market is projected to have the fastest CAGR from 2022 to 2030, driven by the political pressure to shut down nuclear power reactors prematurely. South Korea and Japan have already undergone nuclear decommissioning, while China and India present potential opportunities for the business as their reactors reach the end of their useful lives.
The North America market is also expected to grow significantly, attributed to the closure of nuclear plants for environmental and safety reasons, technological advancements, government support, and increasing awareness of environmental protection. The U.S. holds the largest market share in North America, while the Canadian market is growing rapidly. However, strict government regulations may pose some limitations to market expansion during the study period.
Prominent market players are allocating substantial funds towards research and development endeavors to expand their product portfolios, thereby fostering further growth in the nuclear decommissioning market. Participants in this industry are implementing strategic measures to enhance their global presence, including new product launches, contractual agreements, mergers and acquisitions, increased investments, and collaborations with other organizations. In order to thrive in an increasingly competitive and growing market environment, competitors within the nuclear decommissioning sector must offer cost-effective solutions to expand their market share.
One of the primary business strategies adopted by manufacturers in the global nuclear decommissioning industry is the localization of production facilities to reduce operational costs. Major players in the nuclear decommissioning market, such as GD Energy Services Spain and AECOM, are actively working towards meeting market demands and expanding their operations.
Founded in 1932, Grupo Dominguis Energy Services (GDES) is an international business group based in Spain, specializing in support services for operations, maintenance, decommissioning, surface treatment, logistics, and energy efficiency.
AECOM is an independent company formed through the merger of five entities. Although officially established in 1990, the company consistently strives for improvement, whether it be in reducing emissions, creating social value, or diversifying its senior leadership and workforce. Notably, AECOM has achieved recognition for its excellence in various fields, ranking first in transportation design, facilities design, green design, and environmental engineering according to Engineering News-Record in 2022.
Key companies profiled in this report include GD Energy Services (Spain), Enercon Services Inc. (Germany), EDF-CIDEN (U.K.), Nuvia Group (France), EnergySolutions (U.S.), Westinghouse Electric (U.S.), AECOM (U.S.), Studsvik AB (Sweden), Babcock International Group PLC. (U.K.)
Recent Industry Developments
In April 2022, Westinghouse Electric Company LLC announced the execution of an agreement to acquire BHI Energy, a U.S.-based company specializing in power generation and delivery services.
In June 2019, AECOM entered into an alliance agreement with Toshiba Corporation, a multinational conglomerate based in Japan, to collaborate on the decommissioning of nuclear reactors in Japan. The objective of this partnership is to provide decommissioning services for nuclear reactors and facilities owned by Japanese government organizations and commercial power utilities.
In May 2022, Entergy Corporation ceased operations at its Palisades nuclear plant located on Lake Michigan. This nuclear power plant had a capacity of 800MW for power generation. The fuel from the reactor was removed and placed in the spent fuel pool for cooling. Once the cooling process is complete, the fuel will be transferred to a secure independent fuel storage facility on the plant’s premises. The company aims to complete the decommissioning of the nuclear plant by 2041.
Key Questions Answered
What is the valuation of the nuclear decommissioning market?
What is the projected growth rate of the nuclear decommissioning market?
Which region dominates the nuclear decommissioning market in terms of market share?
Who are the major players in the nuclear decommissioning market?
Which reactor type is leading the nuclear decommissioning market?
Which strategy segment holds the highest market share in the nuclear decommissioning market?