Benchmarking the global nuclear industry 2012
Ernst and Young conducted a study based on a series of 50 interviews in 13 countries. Vendor companies, utilities, manufacturers of nuclear and conventional island equipment, national regulatory authorities and international agencies as well as scientific experts were amongst the interviewees.
To summarise, the report identifies challenges and the bargaining position of countries within the nuclear industry in the wake of the Japan Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. One outcome that has been of paramount importance to all is nuclear safety.
Decisions, changes and choices were to be made; Germany announced it would shut down all nuclear power plants by 2022.
However, the big players in the nuclear industry Russia, France, China, United States of America, Canada, Japan and South Korea have seen little disruption in commitment to providing nuclear power since the disaster:
– Russia continues to cover the whole nuclear industry value chain and maintains its leading position in the international market
– France has positioned itself to become the world leader in safety standards for nuclear power plant construction
– China is in a phase of rapid growth and reactor design capability with a view to expand its offering abroad
– USA are building at a slower pace, with key vendors focused on executing a sound commercial strategy that will increase market presence and participation
– Canada is at the same level as before the accident, but domestic orders are slowing
– Japan has analysed the security of its power plants and the standard code of operation. Construction of new units is not a topic for discussion at the moment
– South Korea is seen as the shining star of nuclear. Implementation of little change in technology and attitudes toward nuclear energy have be observed since the Fukushima accident
Emerging nuclear industry contributors South Korea, South Africa, Canada, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and India continue to serve the industry by diversifying activity and reaping the demand for new construction, plant upgrades and decommissioning.
Such countries have much to offer. However, hurdles are also present and the right strategic decisions are needed to ensure they gain credibility within the nuclear market.
Challenges, ambitions, costs, politics and technology are some of the topics discussed. All of which are apparent in each country and providing drivers for success or failure.
This is especially the case for countries that are beginning their journey and challenging the top players by showcasing their complete lifecycle solutions.
The study conducted also identifies the way in which each country distinguishes itself and remains competitive in the nuclear arena. Due to growth in the economy the Middle East and Asia may seek to adopt a broader approach to nuclear activity and mature nuclear countries will need to direct efforts into maintenance, upgrades and decommissioning.
The key theme that comes out of the Ernst & Young report is evolution. Opportunities within the nuclear market are visible; each country despite its size is cleverly marking their territory. Competition in the nuclear industry remains tough. Suppliers and clients have to change their tactics, adapt to changes in the economy, and prioritise the need for safety and perceptions of the nuclear industry.