Nuclear Power Reactor Decommissioning Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2020 - 2025)

The market is segmented by Reactor Type (Pressurized Water Reactor, Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor, Boiling Water Reactor, Gas Cooled Reactor, Fast Breeder Reactor, and Other Reactors), Application (Commercial Power Reactor, Prototype Power Reactor, and Research Reactor), Capacity (Below 100 MW, 100 – 1000 MW, and Above 1000 MW), and Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and Middle-East and Africa)

Market Snapshot

Study Period:


Base Year:


Fastest Growing Market:


Largest Market:



12.1 %

Potential Market:

North America

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Market Overview

The market for nuclear power reactor decommissioning is expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 12.10% during 2020 – 2025. Major factors driving the market include the increasing number of nuclear reactors reaching operational retirement, declining prices of renewable power generation sources (i.e., wind & solar) rendering nuclear power less economical, and growing sensitivity toward environmental issues. On the other hand, the increasing adoption of alternate energy sources, such as gas-based power and solar power, are likely to hinder the market growth.

  • The decommissioning activity of research reactors are expected to register significant growth, owing to the reduced requirement of the same, as there is a decreasing trend in research & development activity in the nuclear industry.
  • South Korea is one of the new markets for nuclear decommissioning and creates an opportunity for foreign players to provide the necessary expertise that the country needs to develop its decommissioning market.
  • North America is expected to be a potential market for nuclear power reactor decommissioning, with the United States being the decommissioning being the major decommissioning hotspots in the region. 

Scope of the Report

The nuclear power reactor decommissioning market report include:

Reactor Type
Pressurized Water Reactor
Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor
Boiling Water Reactor
Gas Cooled Reactor
Fast Breeder Reactor
Other Reactors
Commercial Power Reactor
Prototype Power Reactor
Research Reactor
Below 100 MW
100-1000 MW
Above 1000 MW
North America
Middle-East and Africa
South America

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Key Market Trends

Research Reactors set to be a Potential Market

  • The decommissioning of research reactors is in a growing phase, owing to the reduced requirement of the same. Globally, the focus is shifting away from nuclear power, which has led to a reduction in research activities associated with nuclear technology. As of February 2020, the IAEA research reactor database showed that there were 220 operational research reactors (87 of them in developing countries), 9 under construction (four of these 100 MWt or more), 14 planned (12 in developing countries), 28 temporarily or in extended shutdown, 60 permanently shutdown, and 510 decommissioned or undergoing decommissioning.
  • The decommissioning activities of several research reactors have been initiated on account of higher cost associated with regulatory compliances over a period of time. The cost of decommissioning of research reactors in some cases is lesser than the cost of maintaining the shutdown research reactor. Therefore, the decommissioning market for shutdown reactors are likely to grow.
  • The United States is the world's largest producer of nuclear power, accounting for approximately 32% of the total nuclear electricity generated, as of 2020.
  • Most of the country’s nuclear power were built between 1967 and 1990. Further, from 1977 to 2013, no new construction of the nuclear plant was undertaken, due to the increased popularity of economic attractiveness of gas-based power generation. Consequently, there was a decreasing trend of investments into the nuclear sector, which aided the decommissioning market of nuclear research reactors in the country.

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North America – One of the Major Hotspots in the World

  • North America is among the most mature markets, with the United States alone having around 98 nuclear reactors operating commercially (As of January 2020). The United States is one of the major hotspots for nuclear decommissioning, with increasing closure of nuclear power plants owing to growing focus to reduce the share of nuclear energy in the primary mix, increasing closure of nuclear reactors, and stringent safety regulations.
  • Most of the country’s nuclear power comes from the reactors, which were built between 1967 and 1990. Since 1977 to 2013, no new construction of nuclear plant was undertaken, due to increased popularity of economically attractiveness of gas based power generation.
  • By the end of 2019, Canada had around 19 nuclear reactors, providing approximately 15% of the country’s electricity demand. Previously, in 2018, five nuclear power plants were in the process of being decommissioned or were decommissioned. The extent of opportunities for decommissioning contracts is expected to depend on the plans for refurbishing Canada’s remaining currently shut down reactors.
  • Decommissioning is projected to become an increasingly important part of the nuclear sector activity in the coming decades, as many reactors are expected to reach their technical-lifetime very soon. Moreover, as dozens of nuclear reactors are nearing the end of their lives or being retired, many countries are focusing on decommissioning the nuclear power plants, which creates tremendous growth opportunities for the nuclear power reactor decommissioning market.

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Competitive Landscape

  • The nuclear power reactor decommissioning market is moderately fragmented. Owing to high risk of accidents during the decommissioning process, customers mostly prefer the services of established and renowned firms. As a result, there is cut-throat competition among the top players offering nuclear decommissioning services. On the other hand, smaller works related to decommissioning are done without tenders and biddings.
  • Some of the major players involved in the market include Babcock International Group PLC, Fluor Corporation, GE Hitachi Nuclear Services, WS Atkins Plc, AECOM, Bechtel Group, Inc., and Westinghouse Electric Company.

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Table Of Contents


    1. 1.1 Scope of Study

    2. 1.2 Market Definition

    3. 1.3 Study Assumptions




    1. 4.1 Introduction

    2. 4.2 Market Size and Demand Forecast until 2025

    3. 4.3 Nuclear Power Generation and Consumption Forecast in TWh, till 2025

    4. 4.4 Recent Trends and Developments

    5. 4.5 Market Dynamics

      1. 4.5.1 Drivers

      2. 4.5.2 Restraints

    6. 4.6 Supply Chain Analysis

    7. 4.7 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.7.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.7.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 4.7.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.7.4 Threat of Substitute Products and Services

      5. 4.7.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 Reactor Type

      1. 5.1.1 Pressurized Water Reactor

      2. 5.1.2 Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor

      3. 5.1.3 Boiling Water Reactor

      4. 5.1.4 Gas Cooled Reactor

      5. 5.1.5 Fast Breeder Reactor

      6. 5.1.6 Other Reactors

    2. 5.2 Application

      1. 5.2.1 Commercial Power Reactor

      2. 5.2.2 Prototype Power Reactor

      3. 5.2.3 Research Reactor

    3. 5.3 Capacity

      1. 5.3.1 Below 100 MW

      2. 5.3.2 100-1000 MW

      3. 5.3.3 Above 1000 MW

    4. 5.4 Geography

      1. 5.4.1 North America

      2. 5.4.2 Asia-Pacific

      3. 5.4.3 Europe

      4. 5.4.4 Middle-East and Africa

      5. 5.4.5 South America


    1. 6.1 Mergers & Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements

    2. 6.2 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players

    3. 6.3 Company Profiles

      1. 6.3.1 Babcock International Group PLC

      2. 6.3.2 James Fisher & Sons PLC

      3. 6.3.3 NorthStar Group Services, Inc.

      4. 6.3.4 Fluor Corporation

      5. 6.3.5 GE Hitachi Nuclear Services

      6. 6.3.6 Studsvik AB

      7. 6.3.7 WS Atkins Plc

      8. 6.3.8 Enercon Services, Inc.

      9. 6.3.9 Areva SA

      10. 6.3.10 Aecom

      11. 6.3.11 Bechtel Group, Inc.

      12. 6.3.12 Westinghouse Electric Company

  7. *List Not Exhaustive

** Subject to Availability

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