Nuclear Power Reactor Decommissioning Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The market is segmented by Reactor Type (Pressurized Water Reactor, Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor, Boiling Water Reactor, High-temperature Gas Cooled Reactor, Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactor, and Other Reactor Types), 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). The report offers the market size and forecasts in revenue (USD Million) for all the above segments.


Market Snapshot

Nuclear Power Reactor Decommissioning Market - Market Summary
Study Period: 2019-2027
Base Year: 2021
Fastest Growing Market: North America
Largest Market: Europe
CAGR: 13.8 %

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Market Overview

The global nuclear power reactor decommissioning market size was estimated at about USD 2027.49 million by the end of this year and is projected to register a CAGR of around 13.8% during the forecast period.

The market was moderately impacted by COVID-19 in 2020. Presently, the market has now reached pre-pandemic levels.

  • Over the long term, the major driving factors of the market are the increasing number of nuclear reactors reaching operational retirement, declining prices of renewable power generation sources (i.e., wind and solar), and growing sensitivity towards environmental issues.
  • On the flip side, the lifetime extension of nuclear power plants with favorable government policies is expected to hinder market growth.
  • Nuclear phase-out policies in several countries such as Germany, United Kingdom, South Korea are expected to creates several opportunities for foreign and domestic players to provide the necessary expertise that the countries needs to develop their decommissioning market.
  • North America is expected to be the fastest growing market for nuclear power reactor decommissioning, with the United States being one of the major decommissioning hotspots in the region.

Scope of the Report

Decommissioning is the last step in the life cycle of a nuclear power facility. Decommissioning transforms the nuclear facility into an end state compliant with national regulatory requirements. Previously nuclear plants were designed for 30-40 years of operating life, and these power plants had to be decommissioned after the completion of their operational life. However, newer plants are designed for 40-60 years of operating life. At the end of the life of any power plant, the reactor needs to be decommissioned, cleaned up, and dismantled so that the site is available for other users. The global nuclear power reactor decommissioning market is segmented by reactor type, application, capacity, and geography. By reactor type, the market is segmented into pressurized water reactor, pressurized heavy water reactor, boiling water reactor, high-temperature gas cooled reactor, liquid metal fast breeder reactor, and other reactor types. By application, the market is segmented into commercial power reactor, prototype power reactor, and research reactor. By capacity, the market is segmented below 100 MW, 100 – 1000 MW, and above 1000 MW. The report also covers the market size and forecasts for the nuclear power reactor decommissioning market across major regions. For each segment, the market sizing and forecasts have been done based on revenue (USD Million).

Reactor Type
Pressurized Water Reactor
Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor
Boiling Water Reactor
High-temperature Gas-cooled Reactor
Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactor
Other Reactor Types
Commercial Power Reactor
Prototype Power Reactor
Research Reactor
Below 100 MW
100-1000 MW
Above 1000 MW
North America
South America
Middle-East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Commercial Reactors Segment Expected to Dominate the Market

  • As of October 2021, 441 commercial nuclear power plants were in operation across 32 countries. The United States had the largest nuclear electricity generation capacity and generated more nuclear electricity than any other country. Moreover, France, as the second-largest nuclear electricity generation capacity and second-highest nuclear electricity generation, held the largest market share in 2020.
  • Several factors are responsible for the shutdown and decommissioning of commercial nuclear power plants, including economic, regulatory, and social factors. Primarily, the end of operational life and fall in the cost of alternative energy generation sources, such as solar and wind, made nuclear energy less cost-competitive. Moreover, following the Fukushima disaster of 2011, nuclear safety protocols have been upgraded globally, which has levied additional costs for the upgradation of infrastructure and increased operations and maintenance costs. Due to this, operators of many older commercial reactors, which have an operating life of 40 years but can be extended by 20 more years with infrastructural upgrades are opting to decommission older units. ​
  • The policy-level initiatives from governments across the world have also led to the shutdown of nuclear power plants. The governments in many countries planned to reduce nuclear power in the energy mix of their countries. Such regulatory policies are prevalent among Western European states with a strong renewable portfolio and serious concerns about the environmental footprint and potential risk of operating commercial nuclear power plants. ​
  • Germany, as per its national policy, has plans to shut down all of the country's reactors by the end of 2022. Similarly, in 2017, Switzerland voted to phase-out nuclear power plants from the country. In September 2020, the Belgian government signed an agreement reaffirming its commitment to phasing-out nuclear power by 2025. Spain has also declared that it will close four of its seven operating commercial reactors by 2030 and close the rest three reactors within the next five years, completely phasing out nuclear generation by 2035. ​
  • Further, the development of renewable energy technologies and increasing economic viability of the same has led to its massive development. Countries across the world are creating huge infrastructure pertaining to renewable power, which has offset the requirement for nuclear reactors. Moreover, nuclear power generation is being replaced by renewable energy sources, which led to the closure of nuclear reactors. Therefore, the surge in the development of renewable energy sources is a big boost for the global nuclear reactor decommissioning market.​
  • Therefore, commercial rectors are expected to dominate the market during the forecast period due to the aforementioned factors.
Nuclear Power Reactor Decommissioning Market - Market Share by Application

North America Expected to Witness Significant Growth

  • North America is one of the largest regions in terms of operable reactors worldwide. The market for nuclear power reactor decommissioning is expected to witness significant growth, owing to the majority ofdemand coming from the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
  • The United States is one of the largest nuclear power producers, accounting for more than 30% of the global nuclear power generated in 2021. The country’s nuclear reactors produced 778.15 TWh of electricity in 2021, representing a slight decrease of 1.48% from 2020.
  • As of May 2022, the United States has 92 operating nuclear power reactors with a combined capacity of 94.7 GWe in 30 states, used by 30 different power companies. In addition, two reactors are under construction with a total of 2.23 GWe.
  • As the era of nuclear power winds down in the United States, the decommissioning of nuclear power plants is becoming a significant industry. Private companies are acquiring these plants, taking over their licenses, liability, decommissioning funds, and waste contracts. Around 41 reactors with a combined capacity of 19.97 GWewere shut down, with the latest one being the Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan shut down in May 2022. In December 2021, HoltecInternational received approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to acquire the Palisades plant in Covert, Michigan, to decommission and dismantle the plant. Additionally, around 198 reactors are expected to shut down by 2030.
  • The nuclear reactor fleet of the United States is now aging. The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering applications for extending operating licenses beyond 60 to 80 years with its subsequent license renewal (SLR) program. However, some plant owners recently opted for early retirements of their nuclear units at 45 to 50 years old.
  • Over the past decade, intense competition from electricity generation using low-cost shale gas has hurt the competitiveness of the nuclear power industry in the country. Moreover, record low wholesale electricity prices plus the high cost of life extension (PLEX) upgrades have together driven early nuclear plant retirements.
  • For many years, Canada has been a leader in nuclear research and technology, exporting reactor systems developed in Canada. In 2021, Canada generated 92.6 TWh of electricity from nuclear power plants, accounting for about 15% of the total electricity generation mix. As of July 2021, 19 operable reactors located in Ontario with a combined capacity of 13,624 Mwe and around six reactors with a combined capacity of 2.14 GW were shut down.
  • As of July 2021, Canada has a variety of research and prototype power reactors that are no longer in use and have been shut down. These reactors are in a safe storage state and awaiting final decommissioning. Some of these reactors include the WR-1, the NRX reactor at Chalk River Laboratories (CRL), the MAPLE-1 and MAPLE-2 (Multipurpose Applied Physics Lattice Experiment) reactors at CRL, the Gentilly-1 nuclear generating station in Bécancour, QC, the Nuclear Power Demonstration (NPD) reactor in Rolphton, ON, and The Douglas Point nuclear-generating station in Kincardine, ON. These, in turn, are likely to drive the demand for the country's nuclear power reactor decommissioning market during the forecast period.
  • Therefore, owing to the above points, North America is expected to witness significant growth in the nuclear power reactor decommissioning market during the forecast period.
Nuclear Power Reactor Decommissioning Market - Growth Rate by Region, 2022-2027

Competitive Landscape

The nuclear power reactor decommissioning market is moderately fragmented in nature. Some of the major players in the market (in no particular order) include Babcock International Group PLC, Fluor Corporation, GE Hitachi Nuclear Services, AECOM, and Westinghouse Electric Company.

Recent Developments

  • In March 2022, Hyundai Engineering & Construction and Holtec signed an agreement to jointly participate in decommissioning a nuclear plant in the United States. The Indian Point Energy Center nuclear power plant in Buchanan, New York, was shut down in April 2021 after 45 years of operation. Hyundai Engineering & Construction would oversee the decommissioning project, dismantling activated parts from nuclear reactors, and moving used nuclear fuel from pools into a dry storage system.
  • In May 2022, Entergy Corporation shut down its Palisades nuclear plant on Lake Michigan. The nuclear power plant had an 800MW power generation capacity. The fuel was removed from the reactor’s vessel and placed in the spent fuel pool to cool. After the cooling process, the fuel will be transported to the secured independent spent fuel storage facility on station property. Furthermore, the company aims to complete decommissioning of the nuclear plant by 2041.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Scope of Study

    2. 1.2 Study Assumptions




    1. 4.1 Introduction

    2. 4.2 Market Size and Demand Forecast in USD million, till 2027

    3. 4.3 Nuclear Power Generation Forecast in TWh, till 2027

    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 Substitutes 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 High-temperature Gas-cooled Reactor

      5. 5.1.5 Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactor

      6. 5.1.6 Other Reactor Types

    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 South America

      5. 5.4.5 Middle-East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Mergers and 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 Enercon Services Inc.

      8. 6.3.8 Orano Group

      9. 6.3.9 Aecom

      10. 6.3.10 Bechtel Group Inc.

      11. 6.3.11 Westinghouse Electric Company

    4. *List Not Exhaustive

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Nuclear Power Reactor Decommissioning Market market is studied from 2019 - 2027.

The Nuclear Power Reactor Decommissioning Market is growing at a CAGR of 13.8% over the next 5 years.

The Nuclear Power Reactor Decommissioning Market is valued at 1728 Million USD in 2019.

The Nuclear Power Reactor Decommissioning Market is valued at 3868 Million USD in 2027.

North America is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

Europe holds highest share in 2021.

Babcock International Group PLC, GE Hitachi Nuclear Services, Fluor Corporation, Westinghouse Electric Company, AECOM are the major companies operating in Nuclear Power Reactor Decommissioning Market.

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