The expansion of the nuclear power sector at the speed and scale required to meet net-zero, energy security and sustainable development targets will necessitate sustained and coordinated investment in the global nuclear supply chain.
This is one of the lead conclusions of The World Nuclear Supply Chain Report 2023, which has just been released.
Speaking on the release of the report, Sama Bilbao y León, Director General of World Nuclear Association said:
“Since the publication of the previous edition the report, the outlook for nuclear power has significantly improved. An increasing number of governments are recognizing that nuclear energy offers a solution to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions targets, reliably and cost-effectively.
“Furthermore, concerns about the cost and reliability of gas supplies, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, have focused global attention on the importance of energy security and sovereignty, areas where nuclear power also offers advantages.
“The ability of the nuclear industry to seize the opportunities of the current energy challenges will depend on several factors, including the capacity of the industry to build and equip hundreds, and potentially thousands, of nuclear power plants efficiently.”
The report makes a number of recommendations to optimize the supply chain, including:
- Lowering the cost of the procurement process by strengthening the relationship with suppliers, and employing new business and financing models.
- Lowering the cost of components by using strategic procurement methods, optimizing the use of commercial off-the-shelf components and commercial grade dedication, and using innovative manufacturing and construction techniques in nuclear plant deployment
- Reducing the procurement requirements through long-term operation and optimized management of existing plants, repurposing existing infrastructure for new build (e.g., using coal-fired plant sites and associated infrastructure), and simplifying plant design and operation.
The report is essential reading for the nuclear power industry, energy suppliers, the investment community, and policymakers. It reviews ongoing and planned nuclear power plant construction, major refurbishment, decommissioning and waste management projects. It identifies the exponential opportunities for small modular reactors (SMRs). It specifies the very varied supply chain challenges, offering considerable potential for innovators within both new build and long-term operations. It explores the need for public-private collaboration and the requirement for visionary policy making.