3Q 2021

Advanced Nuclear Reactors Drive a Rebirth for Nuclear Power

The resurgence of interest in nuclear energy and innovations is driving public and private interest in new solutions to harness the power of low carbon nuclear power to meet growing energy demands. Four key market drivers are expected to help pave the way for these innovations to achieve commercialization and increased nuclear power generation: supportive policy and regulations, innovative technology, sustainable resources, and the persistence and growth of public-private partnerships (PPPs).

Historically, nuclear power has been cost-prohibitive and has not provided an economic proposition to match carbon-based energy sources (e.g., coal and natural gas). However, interest in greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, energy security, and economic growth are resurging within government landscapes. The benefits of advanced nuclear technologies include increased operating temperatures leading to cogeneration, improved safety, the flexibility to react to changes in electricity demand, and smaller, more modular designs. Advanced nuclear reactors are mechanically and operationally simpler than conventional nuclear reactors. Operationally, they consist of more passive safety systems, involve more natural circulation, and include fewer components than existing nuclear technologies.

This Guidehouse Insights report provides an overview of the background of nuclear power, describes the current state of nuclear technologies, and offers a prelude of technology developments. If the industry collectively supports the continued and rapid advancement of nuclear technologies, it can lead to a breakthrough in the use of safer, more efficient nuclear technology in the future.

Pages 13
Tables | Charts | Figures 1
  • What is next for nuclear reactors seeking to become safer and efficient?
  • How can data centers lower costs by shifting loads to locations with lower energy prices and greener energy? 
  • What is the history of nuclear technology in its current state?
  • What are new opportunities for advanced nuclear reactors?
  • What are key advanced nuclear R&D efforts both planned and in progress?
  • What are the financial considerations needed to accelerate the implementation of advanced nuclear reactor technologies in the US and globally?
  • Nuclear asset vendors
  • Renewable energy solutions vendors
  • Energy providers
  • Utilities
  • Investor community




Overcoming Historical Barriers to Create New Opportunities

Nuclear Energy Represents an Attractive Option for Power Generation

Advanced Nuclear Reactors Are Mechanically and Operationally Simpler than Conventional Nuclear Reactors

Economics Are Expected to Play a Critical Role in Technology Commercialization

Capital Costs Directly Affect Nuclear Reactor LCOE

Advanced Reactors Have Cost-Reduction Potential

What Is on the Horizon?

Considering a Path Forward

Support Favorable Licensing and Permitting Policy

Meet Technical and Financing Challenges

Understand Costs and Economics of Operations

Tackle Environmental Waste

  • Advanced Nuclear Reactor Technology Benefits
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