History of U-Battery
U-Battery is a concept which has been in development since 2008.
Its creation followed a challenge set by Urenco, which addressed the changing market demand for energy, to design an economically viable, modular nuclear power generation system which is intrinsically safe.
Putting this into context, large scale nuclear reactors require high capital investment and heavily rely on the infrastructure of nuclear sites. Designers were therefore motivated to develop smaller scale reactors, especially for developing countries and remote areas off main power grids.
Over a three year period, the University of Manchester (UK) and Delft University of Technology (NL) collaborated in an effort to design a unit that would work like a battery. This would allow the modules to be manufactured in series and transported to the customer’s site by rail, barge, truck, etc, and the upfront costs of the reactor would be significantly lower than a traditional large-sized reactor.
The universities completed a feasibility study in 2011 for the design of such a small, safe modular nuclear power generation system - culminating in the U-Battery. The study confirmed that there were opportunities to design a reactor that would be competitive when deployed in industrial sites and remote locations, and later developed for further applications such as emergency power for large reactors, desalination and hydrogen production.
Now, with the combined support of Urenco and industry partners, the development of the U-Battery presents a host of economic, industrial and environmental opportunities, contributing to the solution of the “energy trilemma” (low carbon, secure and affordable energy) and enabling a low carbon economy.