The impact of COVID-19 pandemic can be felt across the chemical industry. The growing inability in the production and manufacturing processes, in the light of the self-quarantined workforce has caused a major disruption in the supply chain across the sector. Restrictions encouraged by this pandemic are obstructing the production of essentials such as life-saving drugs.
The nature of operation in chemical plants that cannot be easily stopped and started, makes the operational restrictions in these plants a serious concern for the industry leaders. Restricted and delayed shipments from China have created a price hike in the raw materials, affecting the core of the chemicals industry.
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The slacking demand from different impacted industries such as automotive is negatively influencing the growth of the chemical industry. In light of the current crisis, the market leaders are focused to become self-reliant which is expected to benefit the economic growth of different economies in the longer term. Companies are triggering events to restructure and recover from the losses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Materials used in producing heat to power turbines in the nuclear power station is known as nuclear fuel. This heat is generated as a consequence of the nuclear fission reaction in the nuclear reactors. Nuclear fuel largely available in the market is based upon oxides. However, increasing focus from industrial as well as academic research departments has been on to developing nuclear fuel based upon metal, nitrides and other forms as well. Alongside nuclear fuel fabrication services, the increasing nuclear power generation capacities are anticipated to create sizeable opportunity in the market over the forecast period.
Nuclear Fuel Market: Dynamics
One of the significant factors pushing the demand for nuclear fuels is the widespread awareness surrounding increasing carbon emissions in the recent past. This has caused a surge in the adoption of nuclear energy as a power source and is also claimed to be the greener alternative to its fossil fuel counterparts that contribute largely to the emission of greenhouse gases. Alongside, the large scale power generation capabilities of nuclear power plants also act as a fuel to its increasing prominence. A single nuclear power plant is noted to significantly enhance a country’s power generation competences. Hence, these aspects are noted to spur growth in the nuclear fuel marketplace.
However, given a variety of advantages, nuclear fuels are associated with several drawbacks as well. One of the most prominent one being the appropriate disposal of the radioactive waste generated off of nuclear fuel. Additionally, the lengthy time required for the commissioning of nuclear power plants coupled with hefty upfront capital investments are some of the factors that refrain investors from showing interest in upcoming nuclear power projects. This significantly hampers the nuclear fuel market. Another significant obstacle in the large scale adoption of nuclear technology is expected to be the fast paced growth of renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind and hydroelectric power plants.
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Considering the minimal environmental damage caused by nuclear technology, these are anticipated to expand steadily in the short term forecast period but showcase rapid growth in the nuclear fuel demand over the long term forecast period. Additionally, in the nuclear fuel market, a large amount of interest is observed in developing Accident Tolerant Fuels (ATFs).
Nuclear Fuel Market: Segmentation
The global nuclear fuel market can be segmented on the basis of nuclear fuel type, nuclear reactor type.
On the basis of nuclear fuel type, the global nuclear fuel market can be segmented into:
- Uranium Fuel
- Mixed Oxide (MOX) Nuclear Fuel
On the basis of nuclear reactor type, the global nuclear fuel market can be segmented into:
- Boiling Water Reactor (BWR)
- Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR)
Nuclear Fuel Market: Regional Outlook
On a regional front, Europe nuclear fuel market is expected to lead from the forefront in the global nuclear fuel marketplace. The significantly high adoption rate towards new technologies in the countries of Europe is expected to drive the demand for nuclear fuel in the region. The shifting focus of the authorities in the countries of North America (such as US and Canada) towards reducing their carbon footprint and lowering their dependence on fossil fuels for power generation is expected to showcase a sizeable growth in the region, in both value – volume terms ion the nuclear fuel market. The regions such as East Asia and South Asia & Pacific are largely dependent on the conventional sources of power generation and are anticipated to expand at a relatively slower pace throughout the forecast period. Latin America nuclear fuel market is expected to expand on the similar lines as a large scale focus is on the traditional sources of energy. Middle East & Africa is anticipated to remain a region to look out for in the forecast period generating high prospects of monetary gains over the forecast period.
Some of the market participants in the global nuclear fuel market identified across the value chain include:
- ARMZ Uranium Holding Company
- Energy Resources of Australia, Ltd.
- Japan, Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation
- Anglo-Canadian Mining Corp
- Azimut Exploration
- China National Nuclear Corporation
- Paladin Energy
- Eagle Plains Resources
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