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The demand for electricity is increasing day by day due to increasing population and rising electricity consumption per capita. Nuclear energy is a zero-emission clean energy source and hence protects air quality. The land footprint of nuclear energy is small as compared to other carbon-free sources like solar or wind. Although nuclear waste needs to be processed and stored properly, it is extremely dense and occupies less space.
Traditional nuclear power plants are built away from populated areas to avoid harm to general public from hazardous nuclear irradiation and accidental nuclear waste exposure. Development of modern nuclear technologies has mitigated these risks. Small modular nuclear reactor reactors are in research, development and demonstration phase.
Key Market Driver -
Key Market Driver – Desire to reduce the impact of capital costs
Key Market Restraint -
Key Market Restraint – Adverse opinion regarding nuclear power
According to World Nuclear Association, small modular reactors (SMRs) are defined as nuclear reactors generally 300MWe equivalent or less. The definition of small nuclear reactor is closely based on those of IAEA and the US Nuclear Energy Institute. They are designed with modular technology using module factory fabrication, pursuing economies of series production and short construction times
Based on technology, the small modular nuclear reactor market is divided into Molten salt reactors, Liquid metal-cooled fast reactors, High-temperature gas-cooled reactors, Light water reactors, and others. Several other small modular nuclear reactor reactors are being developed by private companies, government research organizations, etc. Based on connectivity, the small modular nuclear reactor is divided into grid-scale and off-grid.
Based on application, the small modular nuclear reactor market is segmented Industrial, Utility, Defense, and others. Small nuclear reactors are being currently used in warships and submarines. Grid-scale small modular nuclear reactor reactors are being used to generate power. Other applications have great potential for small modular nuclear reactor market.
The primary market driver for the global small modular nuclear reactor market is aiming to reduce capital costs associated with construction of large scale nuclear power plants. Modular nuclear power plants reduce the total time required for construction of nuclear power plants.
The critical market restraint for the global small modular nuclear reactor market is an adverse opinion about nuclear power worldwide due to accidents like Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Some countries are phasing out nuclear power and shifting to alternatives.
Some of the major companies that are present in small modular nuclear reactor market are Westinghouse Electric Company, Babcock & Wilcox, NuScale Power, Bechtel Corporation, BWX Technologies, Inc., Gen4 Energy, Holtec International, General Atomics, Hybrid Power Technologies, LLC, Pebble Bed Modular Reactor SOC Ltd, BWX Technologies, Inc., GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Southern Nuclear, Terrestrial Energy, Transatomic Power, Oklo Inc, Elysium Industries, Advanced Reactor Concepts, LLC, DBD Limited, LeadCold Reactors (Blykalla Reaktorer) Moltex Energy Ltd, Tokamak Energy Ltd, U-Battery, USNC, and Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL).
The global small modular nuclear reactor market has been spread into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. USA, China, and UK are expected to dominate the small modular nuclear reactor market. All these countries are leading the small modular nuclear reactor technology by funding the development of this nascent technology. Government labs are researching to develop efficient nuclear technology.
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Through research and development grants to private companies, these governments are encouraging commercialization of small modular nuclear reactor technology. Indian Public Sector unit is also developing commercial variants of small modular nuclear reactor technology. The Middle-East and Africa region have great potential for small modular nuclear reactor technology as nuclear power is being introduced in this region.
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