What do you do when an industry is faced with a lower-cost alternative, unfavorable government policy, and increased competition due to plant closures? You look to other emerging markets that are embracing the technology that you support.
In our case, we decided to be a part of the nuclear renaissance and expansion that is happening worldwide. As of May 2021, there were 52 nuclear reactors under construction worldwide, with the majority being built in China. The United States had permanently shut down 39 nuclear facilities as of April 2021. It was clear that we needed to pivot to ensure that our services continued to add value.
Accelerant Solutions has been a part of the success story in the Middle East called the Barakah Nuclear Station. Abu Dhabi, one of the largest Emirates in the UAE, committed to building four AP1400 Korean design reactors in Barakah, Abu Dhabi, UAE. This build is a first of its kind for the Middle East with two of the four reactors coming online in the last two years. Accelerant Solutions has been supporting this initiative for over five years and we continue to participate in major projects that will improve the performance of the four units for many years to come. We are very proud to be a part of the nuclear expansion and peaceful nuclear generation in the region.
Accelerant Solutions supported the Horizon Nuclear project. Horizon Nuclear Power was a British energy company that was expected to build new nuclear power stations in the United Kingdom. It was established in 2009, with its head office in Gloucester, and is now owned by Hitachi. On January 17, 2019, Horizon suspended its UK nuclear development program. Prior to the suspension, Accelerant Solutions was very active in creating the operating procedures and developing the initial training programs for all disciplines.
We also traveled north of the US border in February of 2020 to attend the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) conference, which is the premier event for the nuclear industry in Canada, attracting more than 900 senior executives, public policy experts, engineers, regulators, elected officials, and international delegates. We were able to meet with key industry leaders like CEOs, Chief Nuclear Officers, and key Vice Presidents at all three nuclear generating companies while attending the CNA conference, which resulted in several projects through the end of 2023. Due to the success of participating in that conference, Accelerant Solutions hosted a booth at the 2021 CNA Virtual conference and will be hosting a booth for the upcoming 2022 CNA conference. Accelerant Solutions is committed to assisting the Canadian nuclear companies with performance improvement just like we have done for our US-based clients since 2004.
Where do we go from here?
Accelerant Solutions is completing research in other international nuclear markets to determine if the climate is right for expansion into key territories. We use a blend of fact-finding, commercial opportunity, and political climate to determine where to go next.
There are so many exciting things happening in the commercial nuclear sector that suggests our international future is full of opportunities. Below are a few examples:
- The world and its political leaders are committed to reducing our carbon footprint. This results in favorable policies towards nuclear power due to its zero greenhouse gas emissions.
- New technologies are being embraced by commercial builders and governments alike.
- The latest trend in nuclear is the small modular reactor (SMR), which generates a fraction of the energy of traditional reactors, but at a fraction of the cost. Accelerant is already involved with multiple SMR companies.
- Governments are funding new nuclear technologies with grants, reducing the need to find private funding.
Accelerant Solutions has committed time, money, and resources to the pursuit of an expanded international nuclear presence. We continue to network and attend key international trade shows and conferences.
The future is nuclear and the future is bright.