Nuclear Materials Market Size Expected to Be Reach $94.8 Billion by 2027

Nuclear Materials Market | IndustryARC
Increased Investment in the Space Industry Across the World Is Acting as a Driver for the Growth of the Nuclear Materials Market.

Nuclear materials market size is forecast to reach US$94.8 billion by 2027, after growing at a CAGR of 3.5% during 2022-2027, owing to the rising demand for nuclear materials such as plutonium isotopes, thorium, and uranium from various end-use industries such as medical, energy & power, aerospace, oil and gas, and others. The nuclear materials industry is driven by an increase in demand for electricity generation across the world. In addition, the demand for the nuclear materials market is been accelerated with the growing demand for its use in the aircraft and marine industry. Furthermore, the rapid growth of the defense sector has also increased its demand, thereby, enhancing the growth of the nuclear materials market. All these factors accumulatively are driving the growth of the nuclear materials market and is anticipated to drive the growth during the forecast period.

COVID-19 Impact

The nuclear materials market was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, due to the strict government guidelines such as the production of essential items, movement restrictions, and more. These strict guidelines resulted in the nuclear material production restriction in various regions, as a result of which nuclear material output shrank. Also, the strict lockdown resulted in a decline in electricity generation through nuclear material during 2020. For instance, according to World Nuclear Association, in 2019 the global level electricity generation through nuclear plants was 2657 TWH and in 2020 it declined to 2553 TWH with a decline of approximately 4% in comparison with 2019. This decline in electricity generation through nuclear impacted the nuclear materials market growth in 2020. It is anticipated that by mid-2022 the impact of the COVID-19 will be over and it will lead to the nuclear materials market situation back to normalcy as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nuclear Materials Market Segment Analysis – By Type

The special nuclear material segment held the largest share in the nuclear materials market in 2021 and is growing at a CAGR of 5.2% during 2022-2027. As per the title I of the Atomic Energy Act 1954, special nuclear materials include plutonium, uranium 233, uranium-233 isotope, and uranium-235. Due to its high power and heat generation capacity plutonium is used in electricity and power generation, in defense, and spacecraft. Moreover, uranium-233 can achieve a conversion ratio of greater than 1.0 it resulting in a higher self-sustaining fuel cycle. Uranium 235 is the enriched uranium used as a fuel for power generation and in naval ships and submarines. Due to these advantages, the use of special nuclear material is increasing and will result in the growth of the nuclear materials market in the future period.

Nuclear Materials Market Segment Analysis – By End-Use Industry

The energy and power generation segment held the largest share in the nuclear materials market in 2021 and is growing at a CAGR of 8.7% during 2022-2027. Nuclear materials are an excellent source for the process of heat generation. For major industrial heat generation, it serves the advantage of only non-carbon options. Nuclear materials are used in electricity generation because it has various advantages of low-cost energy, zero-carbon emission, higher energy density, and reliable power source owing to this the share of nuclear power generation is increasing. Moreover, there are new nuclear power plants under construction for increasing the capacity of nuclear power generation. For instance, according to the world nuclear association, around the world, 10% of electricity is generated through about 445 nuclear power plants and in 2021 about 50 nuclear power plants are under construction and this will increase the share of electricity generation through nuclear energy. Due to these factors, the use of energy and power generation is increasing and will result in the growth of the nuclear materials market in the future period.

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Nuclear Materials Market Segment Analysis – By Geography

The North American region held the largest share in the nuclear materials market in 2021 up to 34%. North America is the world’s largest user of nuclear power generation, apart from this it uses nuclear material for industrial use, oil and gas, agriculture, defense, and other industries. The share of North America in the world power generation is increasing. For instance, as per World Nuclear Association, in 2020 North American region has the highest electricity generation through nuclear power was 8,92,949 GWH out of 25,53,200 GWH which was approximately 35% of the total power generation. Moreover, in comparison with various sources of electricity the percentage share of electricity generation through nuclear power is increasing. For instance, in 2019 the US 19% of the total electricity output was through nuclear power and in 2020 it increased to about 20%, with an increase of 1% compared to 2019. These factors coupled with the growth of electricity and power generation is leading to the growth of the nuclear materials market in the forecast period.

Nuclear Materials Market Drivers

Rapid Development in the Space Industry

In comparison with other power-backed systems, nuclear-powered systems have a lighter mass than solar cells with equivalent power. It enables spacecraft to become more compact and easier to orient and direct in space. Due to these advantages of nuclear materials, the investment in the space sector is increasing, which has accelerated the nuclear materials industry growth. For instance, according to the Department of Space, in 2020 the budget allocation for space was approximately US$1.28 billion and in 2021 it increased to approximately US$2 billion, an increase in the budget of approximately 56% in comparison with 2019. Similarly, according to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), in 2019 the overall global space economy was US$428.16 billion and in 2020 it increased to US$447 billion, with an increase of 4.4% in comparison with 2019. Thus, due to increased investment in the space industry across the world is acting as a driver for the growth of the nuclear materials market.

Increasing Defense Spending Nuclear materials are widely used in the defense industry, owing to their increasing use in the fuel mechanism of the defense industry. At the global level, there has been an increase in the defense industry, which is ultimately leading to the growth of the nuclear materials industry. For instance, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the global defense spending was approximately US$1933.46 billion in 2019 and it increased to approximately US$1981 billion in 2020, with an increase of 2.4%. Moreover, US defense expenditure was the highest one, in the year 2019 the US defense spending was approximately US$743.77 billion and in 2020 it increased to approximately US$778 billion, with an increase of 4.4%. With the defense expenditure gradually increasing in various regions, the demand for nuclear material is also on an upsurge, which is driving the market growth during the forecast period.

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Nuclear Materials Market Challenges

Safety Concerns and Strict Governmental Rules and Act Some of the challenges associated with the growth of the nuclear materials market is related to safety concerns and strict government rules and regulations. Safety concerns are related to nuclear waste disposal, the nuclear power plant can release radiations that are harmful to the environment, and the post-accident effects stay for a long time. Moreover, there are strict government rules and regulations such as Atomic Energy Act 1946, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Research, and others. The nuclear power phase-out is posing a challenge for the nuclear materials market. For Instance, according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Research, in 2019 in the USA there was 23 nuclear power plant shutdown. Apart from this in 2020, Italy became the first nation to completed phase out its nuclear power plants. These factors are posing a challenge for the growth of the nuclear materials market.

Nuclear Materials Market Landscape

Technology launches, acquisitions, and increased R&D activities are key strategies adopted by players in the nuclear materials market. Major players in the nuclear materials market include:

Kazatompron, Cameco, Cameco, Uranium One, ARMZ Uranium Holding, China Nuclear National Corporation, New Brunswick Power Corporation, Uranium Corporation of India, United States Enrichment Corporation, GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy.

Acquisitions/Technology Launches 

In June 2020, French nuclear company Framaton acquired BWX Technologies Inc, to expand its nuclear materials portfolio.

Key Takeaways

North America dominates the nuclear materials market, due to its increasing power generation through nuclear materials in the region. For instance, according to World Nuclear Association, in the year 2020 USA was the worlds leading nation in nuclear power generation with 789.9 TWH out of 2553.2 TWH which was about 31% of the total world nuclear power generation.

Nuclear materials are frequently employed in the medical field for disease diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment and it is expected that its increasing application in medical will boost the nuclear materials market growth.

As special nuclear materials such as plutonium, uranium-233, isotope uranium-233, and isotope uranium-235 are valuable sources of energy when integrated into the nuclear fuel cycle, these advantages are contributing towards the market growth.

Furthermore, nuclear material is extensively utilized for inspection reasons in many sectors such as paper, metal, plastics, and others to properly measure the thickness of these products, which is also propelling the nuclear materials market growth.

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