Market Competition in the Nuclear Industry

image of Market Competition in the Nuclear Industry

Nuclear power plants require a wide variety of specialised equipment, materials and services for their construction, operation and fuelling. There has been much consolidation and retrenchment in the nuclear industry since the 1980s, with the emergence of some large global nuclear companies. Electricity market liberalisation in many OECD countries has meanwhile placed nuclear plant operators under increased competitive pressure.

These structural changes in both the producer and consumer sides of the nuclear industry have had implications for the level of competition in the nuclear engineering and fuel cycle markets. With renewed expansion of nuclear power now anticipated, this study examines competition in the major nuclear industry sectors at present, and how this may change with a significant upturn in demand.

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Competition in the design, engineering and construction of nuclear power plants

Nuclear Energy Agency

The long period during which there have been very few new nuclear plant orders worldwide has led to considerable consolidation among NPP vendors, notably in Europe and the United States. This has led to the emergence of just three major global vendors for light water reactors: AREVA NP, GE Energy and Westinghouse. AREVA NP is a French-German company, GE Energy is a subsidiary of General Electric of the United States, while Westinghouse is a mainly US-based company which is now majority-owned by Toshiba of Japan.

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