April 20, 2011 14:08 ET

Scrutiny of Boiling Water Reactors Implemented at Vermont Yankee and Fukushima Won't Dampen Market Value Long Term According to SBI Energy

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Apr 20, 2011) - Executives from Entergy Corporation filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court Monday after Vermont state officials threatened to shut down operations at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear power plant in Vernon. The complaint comes 4 weeks after the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted the plant a 20-year license renewal that was issued just one day before the earthquake and tsunami damaged four nuclear reactors in northeastern Japan. The 40-year old General Electric Mark 1 boiling water reactor (BWR) at Vermont Yankee is the same model and age as the reactors in the Fukushima power plant.

The boiling water reactor (BWR) design used at the Vernon plant and at Fukushima has been criticized intensely since the accident on March 11, 2011; however, it is unlikely the scrutiny will have a negative impact on the market segment. Leading energy market research firm SBI Energy forecasts that after a brief dip in BWR project closures between 2013 and 2015, the market segment will completely rebound to 2010 levels by 2020. Newer boiling water reactors are more technologically advanced and reportedly safer. All new "planned" boiling water reactors listed on the World Nuclear Association are Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWRs), which were designed with the latest safety mechanisms in place -- along with other advanced features.

The concern over Vermont Yankee nuclear operations is not unique. All over the world, those nations with nuclear energy programs are taking a look at their own nuclear endeavors. According to SBI Energy's new study, The World's Nuclear Energy Technology Renaissance: A Market Analysis, there are approximately 442 reactors in operation globally. The United States holds on to the majority share of these reactors with 104 nuclear power reactors, followed by France and Japan, hosting 58 and 54 nuclear reactors, respectively.

In the wake of the disaster in Japan, some countries have taken a step back from their nuclear programs. For example, Germany suspended decisions regarding running times of all 17 nuclear power plants and temporarily shut down seven facilities for three months, during which time investigators will examine the safety standards of all plants. Furthermore, China and Switzerland have announced they would be temporary suspension of future nuclear projects. As a result, nuclear energy technology market projections have shifted. SBI Energy forecasts the future growth of the nuclear energy technology market will be dampened, totaling at least 5.2% less than originally projected in 2020.

The World's Nuclear Energy Technology Renaissance: A Market Analysis contains comprehensive historical data (2006-2010) and forecast data (2011-2020). This report identifies key trends and factors (such as the regulatory scene, new technologies, employment opportunities and economic drivers and challenges), which affect the size and direction of NET market growth around the world. Profiles of 20 major -- or simply interesting -- companies involved in the NET market are also included.

About SBI Energy
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