The global nuclear waste management market to reach USD 6,878.9 million, registering a CAGR of 2.8% during the forecast period of 2021 to 2027.
The increased rate of stringent government regulations globally for effective waste management drives the market. The concern for environmental protection and the focus of governments on conducting awareness programs has accelerated the market’s performance. The technological advancement for the shortened life cycle of electronic products has increased the e-waste amount. The rise in advancements for new electronic products and innovation of the existing consumer electronics products like laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and televisions enhances the market. The rise in buying power has led to a decrease in the shelf life of electronic products. The frequent launch of updated versions of mobiles and electronic products lets the users throw out the older ones. Thus, the accumulation of electronic waste leads to the recycling of electronic products. This factor is boosting the Nuclear Waste Management Market at the global level.
Factors such as the lack of permanent disposal alternatives and the high capacity required for permanent disposal are expected to drive the nuclear waste management market growth during the forecast period. The increasing regulations for better usage of efficient fuels and environmental concerns are also likely to create growth opportunities for the vendors in the global nuclear waste management market. However, the risks associated with the transportation of nuclear waste and the high cost of treatment are expected to hinder the market's growth.
The prominent players in the global nuclear waste management market are Enercon (US), Veolia (France), US Ecology Inc. (US), Posiva Oy (Finland), Stericycle Inc. (US), John Wood Group PLC (UK), Perma-Fix (US), Bechtel Corporation (US), Fluor Corporation (US), BHI Energy (US), Waste Control Specialists LLC (US), Augean PLC (UK), Chase Environmental Group Inc. (US), DMT (Germany), Holtec International (US), and Westinghouse Electric Company LLC (US) among others.
Posiva Oy of Finland has launched a modelling project on the groundwater chemistry in the bedrock. It led to the final disposal of used nuclear fuel far in the future using the most efficient computers. The company is responsible for the removal of used nuclear power. It is owned by Finnish nuclear utilities Fortum and Teollisuuden Voima Oyj. “The present model is the most demanding for groundwater chemistry globally. The project aims to verify the balance of long-term safety associated with economic sustainability, which will open the way to the final industrial disposal.
For four decades, the bedrock and groundwater model was carried out in Olkiluoto on the site for the final disposal of nuclear waste. The advancements in technology will provide huge opportunities in the future for more precise modelling. This will also allow the analysis of the groundwater chemistry evolution based on the geological and climatic changes.
Radiation is a technique that is used in many different industries, including as fuel for nuclear power plants and the production of nuclear weapons for national defence. These usages generate nuclear waste, and this waste must be disposed of using safe and effective ways. The high-level nuclear waste remains highly radioactive for tens of thousands of years and must be disposed of so that it can be securely isolated for a long time. Waste could require permanent storage because of the lack of a path to repository disposal. However, nuclear waste management helps in the disposal of this waste as permanent disposal.
Each day thousands of shipments of radioactive materials, including waste and consumed nuclear fuels, are transported globally. Risks for consumed fuel and high-level waste transportation arise from conventional vehicular accidents and exposure to ionizing radiation under normal and accident conditions. Transportation risks can appear both during normal transport operations and from accidents involving loaded spent fuel or high-level waste shipping packages. This treatment is risky for people who live near or travel on spent fuel shipment routes as this risk considers both the likelihood of occurrence of a specific hazard and its consequence. These consequences include several measures. For instance, the risk can be calculated in terms of the expected number of deaths per quantity of consumable fuel transported, per number of packages shipped, or per number of package shipments.
There are three key types of nuclear waste, which are high-level, transuranic, and low-level waste, and each type must be disposed of as per its risk to human health and the environment. Stringent norms and regulations are being introduced to inhibit toxic nuclear emissions worldwide, mandating more investments in nuclear power projects. The Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for overseeing the treatment and disposal of radioactive waste from the US’ nuclear weapons program. The country has over 85,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear power plants. The DOE is responsible for disposing of this high-level waste in a permanent geologic repository. The US federal government has paid billions of dollars in damages to utilities for failing to dispose of the waste and may potentially have to pay tens of billions of dollars more in coming decades. As per federal law, particular types of high-level mixed waste must be vitrified—a process in which the waste is immobilized in glass—and disposed of in a deep geologic repository.
By Waste Type
The radioactivity of low-level waste (LLW) is limited to four giga-becquerels per tonne (GBq/t) of alpha activity or 12 GBq/t of beta-gamma activity. LLW does not need to be shielded during handling or transport, and it can be disposed of in close proximity to the surface. Hospitals and industry, as well as the nuclear fuel cycle, produce LLW. Paper, rags, tools, clothing, filters, and other items that contain small levels of generally short-lived radioactivity are included. Before disposal, LLW is frequently compacted or burnt to reduce its volume.
Although intermediate-level waste (ILW) is more radioactive than low-level waste (LLW), the heat it creates (less than 2 kW/m3) is insufficient to be considered when designing or selecting storage and disposal facilities. ILW requires some shielding due to its higher levels of radiation. Resins, chemical sludges, and metal fuel cladding, as well as contaminated materials following reactor decommissioning, are standard components of ILW. Smaller materials and any non-solids can be consolidated and disposed of in concrete or bitumen. It accounts for 7% of the total volume and 4% of the radioactivity of all radioactive waste.
High-level waste (HLW) is sufficiently radioactive to produce enough decay heat (>2kW/m3) to considerably raise its temperature and that of its surroundings. As a result, HLW needs to be cooled and shielded. The 'burning' of uranium fuel in a nuclear reactor produces HLW. The fission products and transuranic elements created in the reactor core are contained in HLW. HLW accounts for only 3% of the overall volume of created waste but 95% of the total radioactivity.
By Reactor Type
Pressurized water reactors are the most popular variety of reactor types, with roughly 300 reactors in operation for power generation and hundreds more for naval propulsion. PWRs are based on a submarine power plant design. The architecture is characterized by a primary cooling circuit that flows under extreme pressure through the reactor core and a secondary circuit that generates steam to power the turbine. These are known as VVER types in Russia, which stand for water-moderated and -cooled.
Boiling water reactors are similar to pressurized water reactors in many ways, except it only has one circuit in which the water is at a lower pressure (approximately 75 times atmospheric pressure) and boils at around 285°C in the core. The reactor is planned to run with 12–15 percent of the water in the upper half of the core as steam, which has a lower moderating effect and thus lower efficiency. PWRs have a harder time operating in load-following mode than BWRs.
For many years, gas-cooled reactors have been in use. For instance, nuclear power in the UK is primarily generated by CO2-cooled Magnox and Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors (AGRs). The graphite moderator with carbon dioxide as the principal coolant is used in the second generation of British gas-cooled reactors. The fuel is uranium oxide pellets in stainless steel tubes that have been enriched to 2.5–3.5 percent. The CO2 circulates through the core, reaching temperatures of 650°C, before passing via steam generator tubes outside the core but still inside the concrete and steel pressure vessel (thus the 'integral' design). Control rods pierce the moderator, and nitrogen is injected into the coolant as a supplementary shutdown method. It has a high thermal efficiency of roughly 41% due to the high temperature.
PHWR reactors have been developed in Canada since the 1950s as the CANDU and in India since the 1980s. PHWRs typically employ natural uranium oxide as fuel, which necessitates a more efficient moderator, in this instance, heavy water (D2O) (with the CANDU system, the moderator is enriched (i.e., water) rather than the fuel — a cost trade-off). The PHWR generates more energy per kilogram of mined uranium than other designs, generating a lot more waste fuel per unit output.
The use of radioisotopes in science, industry, and medicine, as well as the operation and decommissioning of nuclear reactors, generate radioactive waste. Such garbage must be managed in a way that ensures the safety of people and the environment for an extended length of time. For instance, radioisotopes are used in most tertiary care hospitals for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. The safe disposal of radioactive waste is an integral part of the medical waste management process. One of the most important goals in radioactive waste management is to ensure that radiation exposure to people (the general public, radiation workers, and patients) and the environment does not exceed the acceptable limits.
For around five years, nuclear fuel has been utilized to generate electricity. Then it is taken away and safely stored until a permanent disposal location is found. The release of energy from splitting the atoms of particular elements is produced and controlled by a nuclear reactor. The energy released in a nuclear power reactor is used as heat to create steam, which is then used to generate electricity. Regardless of the fuel used, energy, similar to all industries, creates electricity from waste. As a result, waste generated during power generating must be managed in ways that protect human health while also reducing environmental effects. For radioactive waste, this means that it is isolated or diluted so that the rate or concentration of any radioactive nucleus is harmless.
The global nuclear waste management market has been segmented, on the basis of region, into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and Middle East and Africa.
Global Nuclear Waste Management MARKET, BY REGION, 2020 (% SHARE)
Source: Industry Expert, Secondary Research, and MRFR Analysis
The existing infrastructure and major players in this region provide the nuclear waste management market in North America with ample opportunities for significant growth in the forecast period. Moreover, these major players are closely working with the key safety industry standard-setting associations and energy regulatory commissions to facilitate the growth of the nuclear waste management market in the region. Such associations include the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the US Department of Energy (DOE), and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Furthermore, the US dominates the region with over 104 operating commercial nuclear reactors at 56 nuclear power plants in 28 states.
The amount of spent fuel produced in the European Union (EU) has fluctuated a lot, but on average, it climbed by 1.5 percent each year, totaling 3 300 tons of heavy metal (tHM). This increase was primarily due to the rise in the electricity produced by nuclear power plants as capacity and demand increased (nuclear electricity production increased at an annual average rate of 1.3 percent over the same period). The EU recently passed a legislation on nuclear waste management. It provides for the management of spent fuel and nuclear waste responsibly and safely. It is built on a set of internationally recognized principles, including protecting current and future generations without imposing undue obligations on future generations.
The global nuclear waste management market consists of various international and regional service providers that are continuously evolving to enhance their market position. Vendors are developing new technologies and stay abreast of emerging technologies that could affect the continuing competitiveness of their product lines in the nuclear waste management market. The competitive environment in the market is likely to intensify further due to an increase in product/service extensions, technological innovations, and mergers & acquisitions.
Impact of COVID-19
The outbreak of COVID-19 across regions had resulted in the lockdown of cities, border restrictions, and breakdown of transportation networks. This is projected to have a significant impact on the energy industry, international trade, and manufacturing operations across the world. According to the United Nations, the global economy from 2019 to 2020 is projected to contract by around 1% or more instead of registering 2.5% growth projected by the World Economic Situation and Prospects report 2020. Additionally, various nuclear waste management market providers are expected to face production shutdowns, resulting in huge backlogs and delays in completing orders.
The study covers the existing short-term and long-term market effects, helping decision-makers draft short-term and long-term plans for businesses by region. The nuclear waste management market report covers major regions of North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and Middle East and Africa. The report analyzes nuclear waste management market drivers, restraints, opportunities, challenges, Porter's Five Forces, and impact of COVID-19 on the market.
Nuclear Waste Management Market Segmentation
Global Nuclear Waste Management Market, by Waste Type
Global Nuclear Waste Management Market, by Reactor Type
Global Nuclear Waste Management Market, by Application
Global Nuclear Waste Management Market, by Region
|Market Size||2027: USD 6,878.9 Million|
|Forecast Units||Value (USD Million)|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, and Trends|
|Segments Covered||Waste Type, Reactor Type, Application, and Region|
|Geographies Covered||North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and Middle East and Africa|
|Key Vendors||Enercon (US), Veolia (France), US Ecology Inc. (US), Posiva Oy (Finland), Stericycle Inc. (US), John Wood Group PLC (UK), Perma-Fix (US), Bechtel Corporation (US), Fluor Corporation (US), BHI Energy (US), Waste Control Specialists LLC (US), Augean PLC (UK), Chase Environmental Group Inc. (US), DMT (Germany), Holtec International (US), and Westinghouse Electric Company LLC (US)|
|Key Market Opportunities||Regulations for the optimal use of efficient fuels and environmental concerns|
|Key Market Drivers||
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :
The global nuclear waste management market is anticipated to account for a substantial revenue generation by 2027, expanding at a considerable CAGR of 2.8% over the review period.
The major market players operating in the global nuclear waste management market include Enercon Services, Inc., Veolia Environment SA, Studsvik AB, Posiva Oy, Magnox Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Chase Environmental Group, Bechtel Group Inc., Fluor, and BHI Energy, among others.
The global nuclear waste management market segmentation is conducted based on reactor type, waste type, and applications.
The regional analysis of the global nuclear waste management market is conducted in four major regions, including the Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and the rest of the world (including the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America).
The North American region in the global nuclear waste management market is slated to dominate the market share over the review period, while the report projects the fastest growth in the Asia Pacific.