Small Modular Reactor Market revenue to hit USD 12.95 Billion by 2035, says Research Nester

Major small modular reactor market players include ARC Clean Energy, Brookfield Asset Management, Inc., Fluor Corporation, General Electric International, Inc., Nuscale Power, LLC, Rolls-Royce plc, TerraPower LLC, Terrestrial Energy, Inc., Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation, and X Energy LLC.

New York, New York, UNITED STATES

New York, July 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The global small modular reactor market size is projected to expand at ~5.7% CAGR between 2023 and 2035. The market is expected to garner a revenue of USD 12.95 billion by the end of 2035, up from a revenue of ~USD 6.66 billion in the year 2022.

The growth of the market is attributed to the increasing development of small modular reactors. More than 70 commercial SMR designs are being developed worldwide for a variety of outputs and applications including power, integrated power systems, heating, water desalination and industrial steam. Akademik Lomonosov, Russia's first floating nuclear power plant, went into commercial operation in May 2020 and is powered by two 35 MW(e) SMRs. In addition, several other SMR projects are in the licensing process.

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These are located in Russia, South Korea, Canada, Argentina and the United States of America. Among the other factors that are believed to drive the growth of the small modular reactors market is the increasing depletion of fresh water in the world. This will likely result in the need for a desalination process to produce potable water. According to a UNESCO estimate from 2002, the global freshwater gap was 230 billion m3/year at the time and is expected to increase to 2000 billion m3/year by 2025. Nuclear desalination is typically less expensive than using fossil fuels. In addition, in the short term, only nuclear reactors will be able to supply the massive amounts of electricity needed to run large-scale desalination projects.

 Small Modular Reactor Market: Key Takeaways

  • Market in North America to propel highest growth
  • The power segment to garner the highest growth
  • Market in Europe to grow at a highest rate

Increasing Initiatives Associated with Decarbonization across the Globe to Boost Market Growth

SMRs have reduced the amount of fuel needed. SMR-based power plants may require less frequent refueling, which in turn can significantly reduce CO2 emissions. According to the World Economic Forum, nine new industrial clusters from the US, Europe and Asia have been added as part of the Industry Clusters in Transition to Net Zero initiative. The aim is to connect 100 industrial clusters around the world to reduce 1.6 billion tons of CO2 emissions. The modest size and high degree of modularity of the SMR allow for a simple combination of a nuclear power plant and a desalination plant. In order to increase the capacity of the volume of fresh water produced by desalination, an investment of 10 billion US dollars is expected over the next five years. This investment is expected to increase capacity to 5.7 million cubic meters per day. In addition, capacity is expected to double by 2030.Small modular reactors can meet variable power generation needs for a wider range of users and applications. Increasing business activity and the growing global economy are expected to increase energy demand by around 15%.

 Expanding government initiative to Drive the Market Growth in North America Region

The small modular reactor market in North America region is estimated to garner the largest revenue by the end of 2035. The growth of the market is mainly attributed to the increasing government initiative to implement small modular reactors. The Advanced SMR R&D program, launched in fiscal 2019, supports research, development and implementation initiatives aimed at accelerating the commercialization of US-developed SMR technology in local and international markets. Additionally, in 2018, the Department of Nuclear Power announced a multi-year cost-sharing funding opportunity (US Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development, DE-FOA-0001817).This opportunity offers the potential to develop existing, new and next-generation reactor designs, including SMR technology. Additionally, in April 2023, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the design of the United States' first small modular nuclear reactor.

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Growing nuclear energy replacement and diversification to Propel the Growth in the Europe Region

The small modular reactor market in the Europe region is estimated to garner the highest CAGR by the end of 2035. The growth of the market in this region can primarily be attributed to nuclear energy replacement and diversification. Several European countries rely on aging nuclear power plants that are nearing their end of life. SMRs offer a potential solution for replacing these plants and ensuring a continued supply of low-carbon electricity. Additionally, SMRs provide an opportunity for countries without existing nuclear infrastructure to enter the nuclear power market. According to a report, Europe is expected to retire around 50 GW of nuclear capacity by 2030, creating a need for replacement options. SMRs can enhance energy security by providing a reliable and independent source of electricity. They can be deployed in remote locations, off-grid areas, or to support critical infrastructure. In Europe, the integration of SMRs into the grid can strengthen grid resilience and provide a stable power supply during peak demand periods or in emergency situations. These factors are crucial in ensuring a secure and resilient energy system. The development of advanced reactor technologies and manufacturing capabilities has contributed to the growth of the SMR market in Europe. Improved designs, standardized components, and factory production techniques are expected to drive down costs and accelerate deployment of small modular reactor market.

Small Modular Segmentation by Application

  • Chemical & Petrochemical
  • Food & Beverages
  • Mining & Metals
  • Automotive
  • Oil & Gas
  • Power
  • Others

Amongst these segments, the power segment is anticipated to hold the largest share over the forecast period. The growth of the segment can be accredited to the increasing demand for electricity. According to the International Energy Agency, after falling about 1% in 2020 due to the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, due to the recovery of the global economy, electricity demand increased by almost 5% and 4% in 2021 and 2022, respectively. To meet this growing demand, small modular reactors are used to generate electricity. These reactors can generate electricity with low CO2 emissions. SMRs can be built in a short time, are less expensive than nuclear reactors, and can be deployed in tandem to meet growing power demands. Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) are advanced nuclear reactors capable of generating up to 300 MW(e) of power per unit.

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Small Modular Segmentation by Reactor

  • HWR (Heavy Water Reactor)
  • LWR (Light Water Reactor)
  • HTR (High Temperature Reactor)
  • FNR (Fast Neutron Reactor)
  • MSR (Molten Salt Reactor)

Amongst these segments, the HWR (heavy water reactor) segment is anticipated to hold a significant share over the forecast period. The overall expansion of nuclear energy worldwide can indirectly drive the growth of the HWR segment. As countries seek to diversify their energy mix, HWRs present a viable option for electricity generation. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as of 2020, there were 444 operating nuclear reactors globally, with an additional 50 reactors under construction. The growth of the nuclear energy sector can provide opportunities for HWR deployment. HWRs are known for their long-term sustainability and operational stability. Their design allows for the use of natural uranium as fuel, which can be advantageous for countries with limited access to enriched uranium resources. This characteristic makes HWRs an attractive option for countries aiming to achieve energy security and reduce dependence on foreign fuel imports. Ongoing research and development efforts in the HWR segment contribute to its growth potential of small modular reactor market. Technological advancements, safety enhancements, and improvements in operational efficiency can drive the adoption of HWR technology. Research organizations, nuclear energy agencies, and reactor manufacturers invest in R&D initiatives to refine HWR designs and optimize performance.

Small Modular Segmentation by Connectivity

  • Grid
  • Off-Grid

Small Modular Segmentation by Location

  • Land
  • Marine

Small Modular Segmentation by Operation

  • Stationary
  • Portable

Few of the well-known market leaders in the global small modular market that are profiled by Research Nester are ARC Clean Energy, Brookfield Asset Management, Inc., Fluor Corporation, General Electric International, Inc., Nuscale Power, LLC, Rolls-Royce plc, TerraPower LLC, Terrestrial Energy, Inc., Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation, X Energy LLC., and other key market players.

Recent Development in the Global Small Modular Market

  • NuScale Power announced an equity investment from Samsung C&T Corporation to support the installation of a small modular reactor. Additionally, Fluor Corporation joined this collaboration to expand future reactor deployment options and complete the construction of the Barakah facilities in South Korea.
  • Terrestrial Energy announces a collaboration with Aecon Group to support the design and construction of ISMR (Integration Molten Salt Generation IV Reactor) power plant. Aecon will assess Terrestrial Energy's construction costs and schedules for IMSR.

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