Nuclear Energy Renaissance

The nuclear energy technology (NET) market re-emerging, and in fact has been aptly named by some as the Nuclear Technology Renaissance. Interest is being fueled by a number of supporting factors, such as a general improvement of public perception regarding nuclear technologies, and a global need for more reliable, less costly energy sources. The number and technological development of nuclear power plants is increasing worldwide. Under the Nuclear Energy Technology umbrella, some of the more common nuclear reactor types used today for electricity generation include pressurized water reactors (PWRs), boiling water reactors (BWRs), fast breeder reactors (FBRs), heavy water reactors (HWRs) and light water reactors (LWRs).

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In 2010 the world market for NET neared $200 billion, up significantly from the year before. Steady growth is expected to continue at least through the year 2020. The NET market segments including PWRs and BWRs currently account for close to half [Shelley, this needs further research] of all nuclear reactors; this share is expected to see a slight decrease by 2020 as other technologies are improved and as new technologies come to fruition. The United States staked a near 28% claim of total NET market share in 2010; however, the nation is expected to lose some of its dominance to a handful of other countries by 2020, which are either increasing their nuclear capabilities or undertaking nuclear endeavors for the first time.

Many factors, including aging electricity infrastructures, increases in terrorist activities, higher fossil fuel costs and increases in electricity demand have left many nations with a desire to increase their levels of energy security. Electricity produced from nuclear power plants offer a secure and reliable source of electricity as they operate independently, do not rely on fossil fuels, provide a constant stream of electricity and are cost-effective – once installed. New technologies are also emerging for small modular nuclear reactors, which may be ideal for military bases – offering increased security for military personnel.

In the past, deriving electricity from nuclear power plants has been highly controversial, due in part to the large amounts of nuclear waste produced. Many environmental organizations such as Greenpeace have been strongly against any nuclear undertakings. New technological innovations, such as those to prolong the life of uranium or to recycle the radioactive element, have significantly helped to reduce the amount of waste produced through nuclear electricity generation. Over the past two decades, public perception has been slowly shifting, although has only recently noticeably bent in favor of nuclear technology development.

Growth in the NET market has been significantly hampered by the highly volatile and controversial aspects associated with nuclear warfare. This has been an especially large hurdle for some countries that have not cooperated with international agreements or have not readily divulged information regarding their nuclear operations. Many countries are now promising to abstain from nuclear weapons development, while others are forming alliances for the exchange of nuclear technologies – sometimes under intense international disapproval. Countries, such as the United Arab Emirates and North Africa, which previously did not have access to nuclear technologies, are planning to install nuclear reactors and many countries already taking advantage of nuclear technologies will be increasing their nuclear capacities.

The World’s Nuclear Energy Technology Renaissance: A Market Analysis contains comprehensive historical data (2006-2010) and forecast data (2011-2020). This report identifies key trends and factors (such as the regulatory scene, new technologies, employment opportunities and economic drivers and challenges), which affect the size and direction of NET market growth around the world. Profiles of 20 major – or simply interesting – companies involved in the NET market are also included.

Report Methodology

The information contained in The World’s Nuclear Energy Technology Renaissance: A Market Analysis has been gathered from trade associations; business, science and law journals; company literature and websites; interviews with more than ten key individuals, research services and institutes around the world; and is based on data from government agencies, such as the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Energy, the Energy Information Administration and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Related Reports:

The World’s Nuclear Energy Technology Renaissance: A Market Analysis

Nuclear Energy Annual Deals Analysis 2011



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