The United States nuclear power plant equipment market is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 12% in the forecast period of 2020 - 2025, driven by the upcoming projects. The significant contribution of nuclear energy in reducing GHG emissions, while fulfilling the increasing energy demands of a growing population and supporting sustainable development in the country are some of the major factors driving the market. With an extension in license tenure of twenty years, the market is likely to grow in the future. On the other hand, increasing competition from natural gas and renewables is restraining market growth.
- With a significant share of pressurized water reactors and due to upcoming projects, they are expected to dominate the reactor segment in the forecast period.
- The World Nuclear Association has set a target of 25% of global electricity in 2050, which is expected to be provided by nuclear energy. This requires roughly 1000 GW of new nuclear capacity to be constructed, creating ample opportunities for market players.
- Island equipment holds the major investment share in nuclear power plant equipment. With upcoming projects, the island equipment is expected to dominate the market in the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Pressurized Water Reactors to Dominate the Market
- A typical design of a commercial PWR is such that the core inside the reactor vessel creates heat. The core of the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) contains nuclear fuel, moderator, control rods, and coolant that is cooled and moderated by high-pressure liquid water. PWR consists of a reactor vessel, steam generators, reactor coolant pumps, control roads, a pressurizer, and other elements.
- The United States is dominating in terms of PW reactors. With 64 pressurized water reactors, generating more than 63 GW of electricity in 2020, PWRs are dominating the market.
- In the future also, with additionally planned five pressurized water reactors, significant growth in the market of nuclear equipment is expected.
- Nuclear energy held a significant share in electricity generation in the United States. With 852 TWh of electricity in 2019, the share of nuclear power is expected to grow in the forecast period.
- With advantages like low operating costs and less fissile material in the core reactor, the pressurized water reactors are expected to dominate the market in the future.
Island Equipment to Dominate the Market
- Despite a halt in the construction of new nuclear power plants for more than 30 years, the country’s reliance on nuclear power has grown. Average nuclear generation costs came down from USD 42/MWh in 2012 to USD 30/MWh in 2019, driving the installation of island equipment.
- In March 2020, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy signed a project for the United States' Department of Energy (DOE) to develop tools to transform the operations, while maintaining advanced nuclear reactors using Artificial Intelligence-enabled digital twins.
- The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), in 2017, approved 20-year license extensions for more than 75% of the fleet, enabling the operation to 60 years. Furthermore, the operators are planning to apply for a further 20-year extension in the lifecycle, allowing the total life cycle of a plant to be 80 years.
- As of 2019, the country has 95 operating nuclear power reactors with a combined capacity of 97.15 GWe, generating 852 TWh electricity, operated by 30 different power companies. Around 38 reactors with a combined capacity of 17.54 GWe were shut down, and there are two reactors under construction phase as of 2019, which are expected to drive the demand for island equipment.
- Factors, such as declining nuclear power generation costs, upcoming projects, coupled with supportive government initiatives and programs, such as Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, State initiatives, and zero-emission credits, are expected to drive the market during the forecast period.
The United States nuclear power plant equipment market is moderately consolidated. The major companies include Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd, Babcock & Wilcox Company, Doosan Corporation, GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy, and others
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