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On 22 September, World Nuclear Association held a launch event on the publication of its report, The World Nuclear Supply Chain: Outlook 2040. 

The World Nuclear Supply Chain report has been published regularly by World Nuclear Association since 2012. The 2020 edition provides a market-oriented review of the opportunities and challenges for nuclear power plants and their supply chain, including scenarios for the evolution of nuclear energy over the next two decades. Information on 400 major independent suppliers of nuclear grade structures, systems, components and services from Asia, Europe and the Americas is presented. The report offers an up-to-date picture of ongoing and planned nuclear power plant construction, major refurbishment, decommissioning and waste management projects.

Three scenarios describe the possible directions of travel: a gradual decline of nuclear energy; a slow increase in line with the existing trend; and an expansion. The current uncertainty in energy policies, in market expectations, and in public opinion means that the transition pathway beyond the 2020s – the ‘not so foreseeable future’ – is indeterminate. The paths taken by countries and companies will differ depending on local political factors as much as on the economics, which is itself hard to calculate given the uncertainty on how competing technologies may develop and interact in the energy system. However, business-as-usual is simply not an option in the light of global warming. As a result, the evolution of nuclear investment could well switch pathways as the 2020s progress, with nuclear energy becoming the centrepiece of the transition to a low-carbon energy system.

Furthermore, estimates for the market size of the component supply sector are presented in the report, including export opportunities. In addition, the report describes how the nuclear industry is addressing the issues of maintaining consistent high quality, obsolescence, the countering of counterfeit, fraudulent and suspect items, as well the localisation of production. 

 


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