Small modular reactor (SMR) is a type of portable nuclear reactor that is smaller than conventional reactor. It is manufactured at a facility/plant and brought to a site to be fully constructed. Small modular reactor (SMR) is a flexible and affordable source of power generation. Demand for Small modular reactor (SMR) is driven by its deployment in brownfield sites in place of decommissioned coal-fired plants, the units of which are seldom very large – more than 90% are under 500 megawatt electrical (MWe), while some are under 50 megawatt electrical (MWe). Thus, capital costs can be lowered when small modular reactor (SMR) is deployed in brownfield sites rather than greenfield projects.
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Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Market: Trends & Demands
Rapid growth in population, high demand for electricity, and implementation of stringent government regulations to minimize harmful emissions are boosting the demand for nuclear power. Nuclear energy is a clean and reliable energy source. It is anticipated to play a vital role in energy security across the globe. Increase in demand for electricity due to high population growth has resulted in efficient energy systems globally. This is driving investments in the nuclear power business, which is estimated to provide a platform for the deployment of small modular reactor (SMR) in the near future. SMR is less capital intensive than conventional nuclear power plants.
Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Market: Key Segments
The global small modular reactor (SMR) market can be segmented based on type of reactor and region. In terms of type of reactor, the small modular reactor (SMR) market can be divided into pressurized water reactor (PWR), pressurized heavy water reactor (PHWR), high temperature reactor (HTR), fast neutron reactor (FNR), and others (including MSR and integral PWR). A boiling water reactor uses light water as both coolant and moderator. Boiling water reactor boils water and works on a cyclic process. Water used in this process is converted into steam, which is recycled back into the water through condenser. In pressurized water reactors, water is pumped under high pressure and temperature conditions. The water gets heated by energy generated due to nuclear fission reactions taking place inside the nuclear reactor. This generates steam, which flows into steam turbines in order to generate electricity.
Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Market: Regional Outlook
In terms of region and capacity (MWe), China holds major share of the global small modular reactor (SMR) market. Currently, India (PHWR-220), China (CNP-300), and Russia (Siberia- EGP-6) have active small modular reactor (SMR) plants. In Argentina, CAREM-25 is expected to commence operation in 2019. Globally, there are more than 40 planned projects with respect to prototype testing/licensing/commercialization of SMRs. Most of the near-term deployment of these reactors is planned in Russia, China, and the U.S. In Europe, the U.K. government published a report on small modular reactor (SMR) concepts, feasibility, and potential in 2014. The report was produced by a consortium led by the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL). A second phase of work is intended to provide technical, financial, and economic evidence base required to support a policy decision on small modular reactors (SMRs). Small modular reactor (SMR) development is proceeding in western countries with significant private investment, including small companies. Involvement of these new investors indicates a profound shift taking place from government-led and -funded nuclear R&D to that led by the private sector and people with strong entrepreneurial goals, often linked to a social purpose.
That purpose is often deployment of affordable clean energy, without carbon dioxide emissions. The U.S. has 99 nuclear reactors–the highest for any country worldwide. However, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. would need additional 22% more electricity by 2020. This is estimated to propel the demand for nuclear waste management services, thereby augmenting investment in SMRs in the U.S. in the next few years.
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Small Modular Reactor (SMR) Market: Key Players
Key players operating in the global small modular reactor (SMR) market include NuScale Power, Holtec International, Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises Inc., GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, and CNNC New Energy Corporation.