Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Market Next Big Thing: Major Giants- NuScale Power, LLC., Moltex Energy, and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy

Small Modular Reactor Market

Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) have emerged as a viable technology in the ever-changing energy production landscape, transforming the way we create and consume power. The global Small Modular Reactor market is rapidly expanding, driven by rising demand for clean and sustainable energy solutions. Let’s look at the primary variables driving the SMR market and their potential impact on the energy industry.

Overview of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) Market:

The small modular reactor market is expected to grow from an estimated USD 5.8 billion in 2023 to USD 6.8 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 2.3% during the forecast period.

Small modular reactors are modern nuclear reactors that are smaller in size than conventional nuclear power stations. They have various benefits, including better safety measures, scalability, and the flexibility to be deployed in a variety of situations, from isolated sites to industrial complexes.

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Market Dynamics:

a. Growing Demand for Clean Energy:

The global campaign to reduce carbon emissions and move to sustainable energy sources has boosted demand for SMRs. These reactors are seen as a feasible solution for meeting energy requirements while reducing environmental effect.

b. Scalability and Flexibility:

SMRs are a scalable technology that allows for easy adaptation based on energy demand. Their modular structure allows for staggered implementation, lowering initial capital outlay and providing flexibility in adjusting to changing energy demand.

c. Technological advancements:

Ongoing research and development activities have resulted in technological breakthroughs in SMR designs, addressing safety concerns while increasing efficiency. Improved designs enhance the market’s attractiveness and acceptance.

Opportunity: Integration of SMRs with renewable energy sources

Wind and solar photovoltaics, for example, play critical roles in decarbonizing the power sector while meeting rising energy demand. This can be accomplished by increasing the deployment of renewable energy technologies. However, the growing use of renewable energy has an impact on the operation of the electrical system. Solar photovoltaic arrays produce varying amounts of energy depending on the weather, latitude, and season. Weather patterns, both seasonal and daily, have an impact on wind energy.

Challenge: Lack of standard licensing process

Licencing is a possible issue with SMRS because the expenses of design certification, building, and operating licences are comparable to those of big reactors. Current licencing systems in established nuclear markets are built for large nuclear power plants and may provide an obstacle to the eventual deployment of SMRS because they do not allow for cost-effective SMRS deployment. The site-specific constraints may make the repetitive build of identical units based on a reference standard design difficult.

Market Trends

a. global collaborations and partnerships.

Key companies in the SMR industry are forming strategic alliances and partnerships to improve their technological capabilities and market presence. International cooperation is critical for accelerating innovation and maintaining regulatory compliance.

b. Governmental Support and Policies:

Many countries actively promote the development and deployment of SMRs through favorable policies, financial incentives, and regulatory frameworks. This assistance is critical in overcoming entrance barriers and creating a favorable climate for market expansion.

c. Concentrate on Hybrid Energy Systems:

The integration of SMRs into hybrid energy systems, which combine nuclear electricity with renewable sources, is gaining popularity. This technique improves energy reliability and grid stability while satisfying the growing demand for renewable energy.

Key Market Players:

A few of the major players developing land SMRs are Rolls-Royce plc (UK), China National Nuclear Corporation (China), NuScale Power, LLC (US), Holtec International (US), Westinghouse Electric Company LLC (US), and National Commission of Atomic Energy (CNEA) (Argentina).

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Recent Developments

  • In June 2023, Fortum and Westinghouse Electric Company, one of world’s leading suppliers of safe and innovative nuclear technology, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore prerequisites for the development and deployment of new nuclear in Finland and Sweden. Any potential investment decisions will be made at a later stage. The collaboration with Fortum is to bring proven and industry-leading, nuclear technology to the Nordic region, delivering added energy security for many generations in the future.
  • In May 2023, NuScale Power Corporation (NYSE: SMR) and Nucor Corporation (Nucor) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to investigate co-locating NuScale’s VOYGR small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) power plants to provide clean, reliable baseload electricity to Nucor’s scrap-based Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) steel mills. The firms will also look into expanding their manufacturing partnership, in which Nucor, North America’s largest steel producer and recycler of any form of material, would supply Econiq, its net-zero steel products, for Nuscale projects.
  • In April 2023, SNC-Lavalin announced its strategic agreement with Moltex on Small Modular Reactor development, thereby extending nuclear energy in Canada. SNC-Lavalin’s world-class network of expertise in engineering, licencing and regulatory affairs, cost estimation, supplier qualification and management, quality assurance, and construction and operation planning will be used by Moltex. SNC-Lavalin will work with Moltex to bring in new customers and advance Molter’s commercial objectives.
  • In Jan 2023, Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH), Ontario Power Generation (OPG), SNC-Lavalin, and Aecon inked a deal for the installation of a BWROC 300 small modular reactor (SMR) at OPG’s Darlington New Nuclear Project site. This is North America’s first commercial contract for a grid-scale SMR.
  • In Feb 2022, Terrestrial Energy Inc. signed an agreement with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). Under this agreement, ANSTO will provide technical guidance to Terrestrial Energy Inc. for the conditioning of used reactor fuel from the Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) power plants in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and other global markets.