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U-Battery - Local Modular Energy

U-Battery participates in 2018 Canada-UK Energy Summit
06 December

U-Battery participated in the tenth annual Canada-UK Energy Summit last month, held to expand ties between the energy sectors in both countries, which are two of U-Battery’s key development markets.

The event at Canada House in London gathered business and government leaders to discuss accelerating clean energy adoption, and included speeches from Claire Perry, Minister of State at the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and Andrew Noseworthy, Assistant Deputy Minister, Clean Technology at Canada’s Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

A memorandum of understanding signing ceremony also took place between the UK’s Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories.

The transition to a low-carbon and resource-efficient economy is a priority for both the Canadian and UK governments, and last year both countries’ Prime Ministers committed to a partnership on clean growth to combat climate change. Comprising both government officials and representatives from the private sector, partnerships have been established to advance clean innovation and renewable energy. By creating the right conditions – through policy, regulation, and funding – both governments are working to foster new research and development and encourage investment in emerging technologies that are entering the market every day.


U-Battery continuing to lead as the industry voice for SMRs in Canada
30 November

Following an engaging presentation at Pickering Nuclear earlier this month, U-Battery Canada’s Sean Donnelly had another opportunity to speak with North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN) members at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station. Organized by the NAYGN, the lunch and learn session was well attended by members of NAYGN’s Durham chapter, which includes operations and facility staff from the Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) Darlington plant.

During the session, Sean spoke about the range of opportunities that are emerging for OPG, and on a broader scale, for the Canadian nuclear industry to continue to build its presence as a global leader in clean energy development. Earlier this month, the Government of Canada released the much-anticipated SMR Roadmap to engage stakeholders on the future of SMRs in Canada.

According to the report, Canada has one of the world’s most promising domestic markets for SMRs and the roadmap provides much needed direction on the development and deployment of SMR technology across the country. Extensive operating experience of world class facilities such as Darlington and Pickering Nuclear were cited as one of the many elements that make Canada the ideal market for SMR deployment.

OPG’s Darlington Nuclear Generating Station is a four-unit station with a net output of over 3,500 megawatts (MW). Located in the Municipality of Clarington in Durham Region, 70 km (~43 miles) east of Toronto, Darlington Nuclear provides about 20 per cent of Ontario’s electricity needs, enough to serve a city of two
million people. In October 2016, after years of detailed planning and preparation, OPG’s team of industry experts, highly-trained professionals and skilled tradespeople successfully took the first of four Darlington reactors offline, commencing a 10-year undertaking that is scheduled for completion in 2026. Darlington Refurbishment is one of the largest infrastructure and clean energy projects in Canada. U-Battery looks forward to working with OPG and other stakeholders in Canada’s nuclear sector supply chain in the advancement of nuclear innovation, like SMRs.

U-Battery Canada Ltd was established in early 2018 to advance the development of U-Battery’s 10 MWt/4MWe high-temperature gas micro-modular reactor in Canada. This project will provide a clean, cost-effective and safe source of electricity and heat for remote sites and off-grid locations in Canada.


Big Gains for Tiny Nuclear Reactors
26 November

www.powermag.com/big-gains-for-tiny-nuclear-reactors/?pagenum=2

General Atomics (GA). GA, which has supplied 65 TRIGA research reactors under 10 MWth, is developing a 4–10 MWe mobile nuclear power supply that fits within a standard military shipping container and has a refueling period of greater than 10 years. The compact power supply also leverages GA’s development of high-temperature, accident-tolerant materials and fuels that enable high performance, a high degree of safety, and protection against potential threats, the company said in October.

Oklo. This Silicon Valley–based company is developing a 2-MW fast reactor that fits into a containerized system and has a refueling period of more than 10 years. The company told a U.S. House committee in July 2017 that its reactor design can use fuel 300 times more efficiency than current reactors. The reactor design has a small core, is not pressurized, operates without pumps, and does not have a large coolant inventory.

X-energy. While this Maryland-based firm this fall began discussing the design of its larger 75-MWe (200-MWth) Xe-100, a high-temperature gas-cooled (HTGR) pebble bed advanced reactor, with the NRC, it is also developing the road-transportable X-battery, which is 10-MWth. The company has reportedly tested various fuel cycles in the design, including uranium and thorium, and can operate the unit for about 10 years with a single core load. Company president Harlan Bowers told a House committee in September that X-energy is working to complete its first demonstration Xe-100 by the mid-to-late 2020s.

According to the NEI, the first micro-reactor deployment could be at a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) domestic installation within 10 years. About 90% of military installations have an average energy use that can be met by an installed capacity of 40 MW or less, and it notes that resilience is of utmost importance to DoD installations, which rely almost entirely on the grid. “Micro-reactors will be able to provide heat and other products, such as desalinated water and hydrogen that can meet the needs of DoD installations,” it noted. “Micro-reactors can also enhance DoD’s use of new technologies, such as advanced computing, ‘big data’ analytics, artificial intelligence, autonomy, robotics, directed energy, hypersonics, and biotechnology.”

The NEI projects that most DoD installations will seek one or more micro-reactors in the 2 MW to 10 MW range, initially for power rather than heat. However, the nuclear lobby, which published a comprehensive roadmap this October aimed at making that a reality, notes that first deployment will face several hurdles. Among them are delays rooted in technology validation and licensing, though it notes that “the NRC should be able to review and approve the first micro-reactor design on the shorter side of their standard review schedules, even though new technologies sometimes take longer to review than designs based on technologies that have been previously approved.”

Fuel supply issues could also hamper quick deployment. The NEI notes that the commercial nuclear fuel industry currently only produces fuel enriched up to 5% by weight of U-235, but that some micro-reactors will use fuel enriched up to 20% by weight of U-235, known as “high-assay low-enriched uranium” or “HALEU.” Establishing a commercial supply of HALEU would require sufficient demand and a minimum of 7 years to develop fuel cycle infrastructure, but that could be mitigated if the Department of Energy (DOE) taps into its access of high-enriched uranium, which it says can be down-blended to supply HALEU needs until a commercial supply is available. “It is estimated that it would take DOE 1.5 to 3 years to supply HALEU, with a nominal target of 2 years for the first micro-reactor deployment,” NEI said. Other challenges involve used-fuel disposal and operator training.

In a press conference hosted by the NEI on October 4, Troy Warshel, director of operations at the Pentagon’s Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operational Energy, indicated that the DoD may be on board. The NEI also noted that Congress in August directed the DOE to report to Congress within a year on the requirements and components needed for a pilot program to “site, construct and operate at least one licensed micro-reactor that provides resilience for national security infrastructure at a DoD or DOE facility.”

Other nations are also closely examining the use of micro-reactors. Both Canada and the UK reportedly have advanced government programs underway with the goal of deploying small reactors within the next decade. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, for example, is wrapping up the first phase of pre-licensing design review for an Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. and Global First Power jointly submitted 5-MW to 10-MW high-temperature gas reactor. Other designs, like the eVinci, are in various stages of review.

This June, meanwhile, the UK government confirmed that nuclear fuel supplier URENCO was one of eight participants selected to receive funding under its Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) program to develop its U-Battery, which is a 4-MW “micro modular reactor” powered by Tristructural-isotropic (TRISO) fuel that can be delivered in a cogeneration configuration of 750C process heat. The UK Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy could invest up to £44 million in AMR feasibility and development work, and under the program, it could award a single, successful applicant up to £4 million.

URENCO wants to demonstrate the technology by 2024. U-Battery General Manager Steve Threlfall said in June that the government’s green light to progress the U-Battery to Phase 1 of the government’s AMR Programme “will involve receiving a first tranche of funding to produce a feasibility study in which we outline the commercial and technical case for U-Battery. The feasibility study will be produced over the next six months, before being submitted to Government.”

Sonal Patel is a POWER associate editor.

Correction (Nov. 5, 2018): This article originally and incorrectly stated that the U-Battery was furnished with the full £44 million that may be allocated for the AMR program. URENCO is in the running for the UK government’s award along with seven other companies, which also got contracts to produce feasibility studies as part of the the program’s first phase: Advanced Reactor Concepts (for its 100-MW ARC-100, a sodium-cooled reactor that employs metallic fuel); DBD Ltd. (for its high-temperature gas-cooled reactor); Blykalla Reaktorer Stockholm (for its 40-MW lead-cooled reactor, SEALER-UK); Moltex Energy (for its stable salt reactor); Tokamak Energy (for its spherical tokamak, which is a small modular fusion reactor); Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. (for its 15-MWth high-temperature gas-cooled reactor); and Westinghouse (for its 400-MW lead-cooled fast reactor).


U-Battery Canada engaging the next generation of nuclear energy leaders
19 November

U-Battery Canada Team Lead, Sean Donnelly, recently delivered a presentation on U-Battery to the Durham chapter of the North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN). Established in 1999, NAYGN is a global hub for emerging leaders in the nuclear energy sector. It provides professional development, skills training, capacity building, recruiting and networking opportunities for the next generation of nuclear leaders. Today, there are more than 16,000 members in North America, who represent a diverse cross-section of the nuclear science and technology community.

Sean provided the NAYGN Durham Chapter an in-depth look at the U-Battery model, including an overview of the technology and plant design, current and future global market opportunities, and how the U-Battery platform has the potential to help improve the quality of life of Canadians, and others around the world, by providing affordable, dispatchable, clean energy (heat and power).

“You can see the excitement the younger generation has for SMRs, as we actually ran out of seating space for this lunch and learn”, said Matthew Mairinger, NAYGN Canadian Affairs Chair. “Our members were impressed with the safeguards, design (especially the TRISO fuel), and inherent safety features of U-Battery. I’m just one of many who is excited for the future in which U-Battery and other SMRs can play a role in reducing emissions, addressing energy poverty, and further establishing Canada as a leader in nuclear innovation.”

The presentation took place at Ontario Power Generation’s Pickering Nuclear Generating Station Information Centre in Ontario, Canada. Pickering Nuclear is one of the world’s largest nuclear generating stations, and has six CANDU® (CANadian Deuterium Uranium) reactors. The station has a total output of 3,100 megawatts (MW), enough to serve a city of one and a half million people, and about 14 per cent of Ontario’s electricity needs.

U-Battery Canada Ltd was established in early 2018 to advance the development of U-Battery’s 10 MWt/4MWe high-temperature gas micro-modular reactor in Canada. This project will provide a clean, cost-effective and safe source of electricity and heat for remote sites and off-grid locations in Canada.


Experts examine how advanced nuclear technologies will fit into the future energy mix in the UK and beyond
15 November

Government, regulators and developers progressed the realisation of advanced nuclear technologies yesterday as part of a continued push to achieve the benefits around the sustainable generation of low carbon electricity.

The Nuclear Institute’s Advanced Nuclear Technologies seminar, hosted by micro-modular reactor developer U-Battery and nuclear fuels company Urenco, was the only UK event this year on advanced and small modular reactors and the fuel cycle they will require.

Held at Urenco’s enrichment site near Chester, it was supported by expert advisor to the nuclear industry Professor Dame Sue Ion; the Department for Business, Energy and
Industrial Strategy; the Office for Nuclear Regulation; the Environment Agency and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories. It also brought together leading companies which, alongside the hosts, included Westinghouse Electric Company UK, Tokamak Energy, Moltex Energy and Assystem.

The seminar examined the current status of advanced nuclear technologies and analysed how they will fit into the future energy mix in the UK and abroad. The UK Government has demonstrated its continued support for nuclear energy through the Nuclear Sector Deal and Industrial Strategy. Canada is also pursuing these technologies for many of their northern and remote communities which need a clean, cost-effective and safe alternative to diesel.

Steve Threlfall, General Manager at U-Battery, who presented at the seminar, said: “U-Battery and Urenco were delighted to host this event to further the thinking around the development of advanced nuclear technologies and their fuelling. Nuclear energy continues to be recognised for its role in providing affordable, reliable, low carbon electricity. The nuclear industry needs to be ready to embrace new reactor technologies and designs and the fuel sector needs to be ready to supply them. We are preparing ourselves and our assets to do so and look forward to continuing to play our part in addressing the energy and decarbonisation challenges in the UK and across the world.”

The North-West of England and North Wales are key regions for the UK’s nuclear industry and the area sees significant economic benefit from this part of the energy sector.

The UK Government is running the Advanced Modular Reactor programme, with phase one to conclude in early 2019. The programme, which U-Battery is part of, seeks to
determine the feasibility of and support for the design and development of advanced modular reactors.

Last week the Canadian Roadmap for Small Modular Reactors was released and U-Battery looks forward to working with the Canadian federal government and the country’s energy sector, community and industry stakeholders to explore the important benefits of these technologies.


U-Battery welcomes the release of the Canadian Roadmap for Small Modular Reactors
08 November

U-Battery joins other nuclear sector organisations in welcoming the release of “A Call to Action: A Canadian Roadmap for Small Modular Reactors,” and the Canadian federal government’s leadership in advancing nuclear energy innovation.

Innovation is the key to meeting the challenges of rising energy demand needs and reducing emissions. The Canadian Roadmap for Small Modular Reactors demonstrates that broad-ranging collaboration can yield powerful results.

U-Battery is an early-mover in the small modular reactor (SMR) landscape and offers a competitive, clean energy solution that can provide a secure, low-carbon, cost-effective and safe source of electricity and heat.

Steve Threlfall, U-Battery General Manager, said: “U-Battery’s SMR technology will help address energy security and enable remote communities to move away from carbon-intensive diesel fuel. We look forward to working with the federal government, Canada’s energy sector, community and industry stakeholders as we continue to explore the important benefits of SMR technologies.”


U-Battery comment on Expert Finance Working Group report on financing small nuclear
08 August

U-Battery read with interest yesterday’s report from the Expert Finance Working Group and will be reviewing the recommendations in detail.

In June, U-Battery successfully progressed to phase one of the UK Government’s Advanced Modular Reactor Programme.

During phase one of that programme we will produce a feasibility study which will make the commercial and technical case for U-Battery.

We are delighted at the Government’s show of support for advanced modular technologies and look forward to demonstrating how U-Battery can help to address energy and decarbonisation challenges in the UK and overseas.


U-Battery receives UK Government funding
28 June

The UK Government has confirmed today that U-Battery has been successfully selected to receive funding in the Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) Programme.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is investing up to £44 million in AMR feasibility and development work through the programme, with the aims of generating low cost electricity which is delivered flexibly, and providing other functionality such as the provision of heat for domestic or industrial use.

U-Battery General Manager, Steve Threlfall, said: “U-Battery is delighted to have received the green light to progress to Phase 1 of the Government’s AMR Programme. This will involve receiving a first tranche of funding to produce a feasibility study in which we outline the commercial and technical case for U-Battery.

“The feasibility study will be produced over the next six months, before being submitted to Government.

“We look forward to using the study to demonstrate how U-Battery can deliver a low-carbon solution to address energy and decarbonisation challenges in the UK and global markets.”

U-Battery is a micro modular nuclear reactor being designed to provide secure, low carbon embedded power at industrial sites and remote locations, currently focussing on the UK and Canadian markets. It is being developed by a consortium with a high level of nuclear and engineering expertise, made up of the partners URENCO, Wood Group, Kinectrics, Cammell Laird and Laing O’Rourke.


U-Battery Establishes Canadian Subsidiary to Advance Development of Micro Modular Reactor
23 February

U-Battery is pleased to announce the creation of a Canadian subsidiary company, U-Battery Canada Limited.

U-Battery is a micro modular reactor that is intended to support Canada’s many northern and remote communities by providing a clean, cost-effective and safe source of electricity and heat, allowing them to move away from carbon-intensive diesel fuel. The reactor is also intended to power remote industrial sites, including off-grid mining operations.

It is being developed by URENCO in partnership with Wood, Cammell Laird, Laing O’Rourke and Kinectrics.

Current work is focused on a collaboration between Kinectrics and URENCO to advance the design, development and licensing of the U-Battery reactor in Canada.

U-Battery will also continue to focus on market development in the United Kingdom.

Steve Threlfall, General Manager, U-Battery comments:

“The incorporation of a Canadian subsidiary brings us closer to the development, licensing and the eventual deployment of U-Battery units across Canada. With over 300 remote communities in Canada, as well as remote heavy industry, there is a strong market interest in a low carbon, reliable and cost-effective energy alternative to diesel. We look forward to continuing to work in collaboration with our Canadian partners to make U-Battery a reality.”

U-Battery is a 10 MWt/4MWe high temperature gas reactor that has been designed as a cogeneration (combined heat and power) unit.


U-Battery exhibiting at CNA2018
23 February

U-Battery demonstrated its value to the northern and remote communities of Canada by exhibiting at the CNA2018 conference in Ottawa.

Running from 21-23 February the event was attended by U-Battery General Manager Steve Threlfall and Director of Government Affairs for URENCO, Chris White.

This follows the announcement last year that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with Bruce Power, a supplier of 30 per cent of electricity in the Canadian Province of Ontario.

Steve said: “We are very committed to pursuing the opportunity to develop, license and eventually deploy U-Battery units across Canada.

“As part of this we were pleased to attend the CNA conference and hold discussions with a number of relevant parties. We look forward to future collaboration with them during the year.”


U-Battery presentation at Nuclear 2017
11 December

U-Battery General Manager Steve Threlfall discussed recent developments for U-Battery at the Nuclear Industry Association’s (NIA) conference in London last week.

He was invited to join a panel from the Small and Advanced Modular Reactor world to discuss how they could benefit the UK economy.

The event was attended by Richard Harrington MP, Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who gave an update on the nuclear sector deal and small modular reactors.

Steve said: “We’re pleased the Minister has made a positive announcement supporting advanced modular reactors. We support the Government’s decision to reassess the direction of its SMR policy, and look forward to working within the new framework to deliver U-Battery.

“In 2017, we have focused our efforts on understanding the global market potential and business case in more depth and reaching out to a greater number of stakeholders in the UK and Canada, whilst continuing engagement with Poland and the Japanese Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA).”

U-Battery is a high temperature gas micro modular nuclear reactor which will be able to produce local power and heat for a range of energy needs. It is being developed by URENCO, Wood, Laing O’Rourke and Cammell Laird.


Small Modular Reactors (SMR) policy
07 December

We support the Government’s decision to reassess the direction of its Small Modular Reactors (SMR) policy. We also look forward to working within the new framework to deliver U-Battery, a micro modular reactor, which is a low-carbon solution to address unique energy and decarbonisation challenges.


Memorandum of Understanding with Bruce Power Signals Continued Investment for U-Battery in Canada
06 December

U-Battery is pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bruce Power, a supplier of 30 per cent of electricity in the Canadian Province of Ontario. URENCO, AMEC NSS Limited and Bruce Power finalised the partnership agreement, which outlines:

  • Cooperation in the process of design review and licensing.
  • A feasibility study for the potential deployment of micro nuclear reactors across Canada, including Bruce Power being the owner and/or operator of a fleet of U-Battery units.
  • Investigation into the suitability of a Bruce Power site for the deployment of a U-Battery demonstration reactor.

U-Battery is being developed by URENCO in partnership with Wood plc and AMEC NSS Limited, Cammell Laird and Laing O’Rourke. It is a 10 MWt/4MWe high temperature gas reactor that has been designed as a cogeneration (combined heat and power) unit.

Its uses include, but are not limited to, providing an improved quality of life for remote communities that are reliant on expensive, polluting and carbon-intensive diesel. It is also intended to be used for industrial sites. To-date, URENCO , Wood plc and AMEC NSS Limited have led preparation activities for the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission vendor design review process.

Steve Threlfall, General Manager, U-Battery comments:

“U-Battery is pleased to have signed this MOU with Bruce Power. The partnership accelerates our commitment towards development, licensing and the eventual deployment of U-Battery units across Canada. We look forward to learning and collaborating with Bruce Power to make this a reality for industries and communities in remote regions that are looking for a low carbon, reliable and cost-effective energy alternative to diesel.”

Frank Saunders, Vice President, Nuclear Oversight and Regulatory Affairs, Bruce Power, comments:

“As a nuclear power operator, Bruce Power is pleased to participate in this effort to improve the availability of clean electrical power through new technologies.”

About URENCO
URENCO is an international supplier of enrichment services and fuel cycle products with its head office based close to London, UK. With plants in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and in the US, it operates in a pivotal area of the nuclear fuel supply chain which enables the sustainable generation of electricity for consumers around the world. Using centrifuge technology designed and developed by URENCO, the URENCO Group provides safe, cost-effective and reliable uranium enrichment services for civil nuclear power generation within a framework of high environmental, social and corporate responsibility standards. For more information, please visit www.urenco.com

About Bruce Power
Formed in 2001, Bruce Power is an electricity company based in Bruce County, Ontario. We are powered by our people. Our 4,200 employees are the foundation of our accomplishments and are proud of the role they play in safely delivering clean, reliable, low-cost nuclear power to families and businesses across the province. Bruce Power has worked hard to build strong roots in Ontario and is committed to protecting the environment and supporting the communities in which we live. Learn more at www.brucepower.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.

About AMEC NSS Limited
AMEC NSS Limited has more than 35 years of experience in providing technical, analytical, licensing, regulatory, project management and engineering design services to nuclear utilities and licensees in Canada and around the world. From its origins as the Nuclear Safety Analysis Division within Ontario Hydro, the nuclear business in Canada employs over 500 staff, in addition to affiliates in the US and Romania, with extensive experience in the design, maintenance, operation and analysis of nuclear and conventional steam cycle power plants in the Canadian and international nuclear industry. Operating in a project-driven regime, AMEC NSS has performed a wide variety of projects for over 50 global clients, and has annual revenues in excess of $100 million.


U-Battery agrees Memorandum of Cooperation with JAEA
19 May

U-Battery is pleased to announce that on 18 May 2017, a Memorandum of Cooperation was agreed with the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) in the field of High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) technologies including design, materials and safety evaluation.

Steve Threlfall, General Manager, U-Battery comments:

“U-Battery is delighted to be collaborating with the JAEA. Both U-Battery and the JAEA recognise the importance of international cooperation and we’re looking forward to working together to further develop U-Battery’s potential to support energy intensive industries and remote communities .”

The agreement is especially timely as the JAEA has also recently started cooperation with the National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ) in Poland. In May 2016, an agreement was reached between U-Battery and NCBJ to proceed with the deployment of U-Battery and, in the event that the NCBJ introduces a demonstration HTGR from URENCO, the Japanese HTGR technologies are expected to be used in the demonstration reactor.

Kazuhiko Kunitomi, Director General, JAEA comments:

“We realise the importance of our collaboration with U-Battery and also the NCBJ to facilitate domestic R&D for early practical realisation of HTGRs. It is important to us that we are able to contribute in the development of commercially viable reactor technologies which could be used for new applications.”

U-Battery is a high temperature gas micro modular nuclear reactor which will be able to produce local power and heat for a range of energy needs. It is being developed by URENCO, Amec Foster Wheeler, Laing O’Rourke and Cammell Laird.


U-Battery exhibits at Nuclear Industry Forum, London
17 May

From 15-16 May, U-Battery exhibited at the Nuclear Industry Forum in London, UK. For the eleventh year, the Forum bought together key figures in the nuclear industry and provided an opportunity for delegates to share updates and learn about developments upcoming in the industry over the next year.

Steve Threlfall, General Manager, U-Battery, contributed to one of the Vendors’ Panels titled, ‘Delivering innovation for the UK’s nuclear needs’, which considered the benefits of SMRs and how the UK is preparing to build a successful SMR industry.

Steve Threlfall comments:

“This is the first time U-Battery has exhibited at the Nuclear Industry Forum and it was a great opportunity for us to engage with colleagues in the nuclear industry.

“The Vendors’ Panel provided U-Battery, along with other modular reactor developers, a forum to discuss how all sizes of nuclear reactors are key to meeting the world’s low-emission energy needs. Different technologies offer different business propositions in terms of investment cost, maturity of design and complexity. The UK is in a good position to contribute significantly to the micro and small nuclear reactor market worldwide”

U-Battery is a high temperature gas micro modular nuclear reactor which will be able to produce local power and heat for a range of energy needs. It is being developed by URENCO, Amec Foster Wheeler, Laing O’Rourke and Cammell Laird.


U-Battery exhibits at 2017 Canadian Nuclear Association Conference and Trade Show
28 February

From 22- 24 February, U-Battery was an exhibitor and Silver Sponsor of the 2017 Canadian Nuclear Association Conference and Trade Show, held in Ottawa, Canada.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Mission Possible: Innovation for a Cleantech Future” and more than 850 participants attended from industry, government, academia, and NGOs.

Steve Threlfall, General Manager, U-Battery, comments:

“Innovative technologies were a dominant theme of the conference and delegateswere very enthusiastic about the potential of U-Battery and the benefits it can bring to the Canadian market. The discussion of Canada and Ontario’s “Nuclear Advantage” was a key message from industry and government.”

Sean Donnelly, from Amec Foster Wheeler on behalf of the U-Battery consortium, participated in the SML Panel Discussion on “Challenges for Deployment” and this was a successful discussion which led to delegates to seek further information on U-Battery at the exhibition stand.


U-Battery hosts USNIC during UK Mission on SMRs, Advanced Reactors and Manufacturing
26 October

From 24 – 28 October, 15 members of the United States Nuclear Infrastructure Council (USNIC) visited the UK as part of a mission trip focusing on SMRs, Advanced Reactors and Manufacturing.

On the first night, URENCO and U-Battery hosted an evening reception and dinner at The Travellers Club in London for the delegates. Key contributors to the UK nuclear energy industry also attended and it was a valuable opportunity for US and UK guests to discuss new nuclear energy issues relevant to SMRs, advanced reactors and manufacturing.

On 25 October, delegates attended a tour of four major UK manufacturing and technological sites including URENCO Capenhurst. The visitors experienced a tour of the enrichment facility and attended a briefing on U-Battery and Advanced Reactor Fuel discussion.

This year’s trip built on the 2015 Joint USNIC-UK Trade & Investment Mission, on Gen 3+ deployment, which focused on the UK’s ongoing implementation of £250 million investment in nuclear R&D programmes over five years.

Steve Threlfall, General Manager, U-Battery and URENCO, comments:

“This mission trip was an ideal opportunity for all delegates to learn more about the UK’s commitment to SMRs, Advanced Reactors and Manufacturing and identify areas for joint opportunities.”


U-Battery exhibits at ENC, Warsaw and SMR Summit, London
26 October

From 9-13 October 2016, U-Battery exhibited at the European Nuclear Conference (ENC) in Warsaw, Poland. The international conference welcomed delegates from across the nuclear industry and provided an opportunity for scientists, nuclear industry representatives and policy makers to discuss ideas and innovations that will drive the technological developments of the future.

During their visit, members of the U-Battery team met with Jonathan Knott, British Ambassador to Poland, to discuss further the opportunity for the deployment of U-Battery and the potential for U-Battery in the Polish market.

Steve Threlfall, General Manager, U-Battery and URENCO, comments:

“At the ENC we met with an interested audience about the potential of U-Battery. We welcomed the opportunity to meet with Jonathan Knott and discuss the potential for U-Battery to be deployed in Poland and for High Temperature Gas Reactors to support energy intensive industries.”

From 18-19 October, U-Battery exhibited at Nuclear Energy Insider’s Small Modular Reactor UK Summit in London, England.

Steve Threlfall was one of the industry experts who contributed to the session: SMR’s for the UK Market: The Business Case. During his presentation, Steve addressed the global market opportunity for micro-modular reactor technology, the latest international market interest in U-Battery, the prospects for UK Plc and the next steps for the business.

Steve comments:

“The SMR UK Summit provided a valuable platform to engage with others working within the SMR market and discuss the opportunities, challenges and innovations for the future of nuclear energy.”


Japan Atomic Energy Agency share valuable learnings with U-Battery
19 July

On 14 July, members from the Japan Atomic Energy Agency met with the U-Battery team at URENCO’s Head Office to share their experience of Japan’s High Temperature Engineering Test Reactor.

Steve Threlfall, General Manager, U-Battery comments:

“This was a valuable opportunity. We listened to important learnings from the Japanese experience and our visitors were able to present an update on the state of development of the test reactor.”

The following day the group had a site tour of the high temperature research / test facility and the gas-cooled reactor test facilities being installed in Warrington by Amec Foster Wheeler.

Photo shows members of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency and members of the U-Battery team at URENCO’s Head Office in Stoke Poges, UK.


U-Battery exhibits at SMR 2016 conference
10 June

U-Battery was delighted to co-sponsor the ‘Small Modular Reactors: What, Why and When? conference at St. Ermin's Hotel, London on 8-9 June 2016.

Delegates from across the nuclear industry attended the conference. U-Battery provided an insight into the design of the reactor and how it could provide high-efficiency, low-carbon electricity in an inherently safe way.

Steve Threlfall, General Manager, U-Battery comments:

“The SMR conference was a great opportunity to engage with an interested audience. We are now entering the next phase of U-Battery development which will deliver the Basic Design and commence Safety Case Preparation.”

The conference explored what constitutes a Small Modular Reactors (SMR), why they might be required in the UK, and when they might be deployed.

U-Battery is a micro-modular reactor being developed by URENCO, AMEC FW, Atkins, Cammell-Laird and Laing O’Rourke.


Agreement to investigate deployment of U-Battery in Poland
26 May

U-Battery is pleased to announce the agreement of terms with the National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ) to cooperate for the deployment of U-Battery in Poland. Agreement was reached and a Confidentiality Agreement was signed during the visit of the Polish Undersecretaries of State for Energy, Andrzej Piotrowski and Michal Kurtyka, to the United Kingdom on 24-25 May, accompanied by other senior officials from the Polish Ministry of Energy.

The parties reaching agreement were URENCO, as lead partner in U-Battery, and the leading Polish institute for nuclear innovation, the National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ). The Centre and U-Battery have agreed to investigate the potential for U-Battery in the Polish market.

Steve Threlfall, General Manager, U-Battery and URENCO, comments:

“U-Battery is delighted to be collaborating with the National Centre for Nuclear Research (NCBJ). Poland is one of a handful of initial strategic future markets that we are engaging with. We look forward to working with NCBJ and others to understand the potential for U-Battery to be deployed in Poland and support energy intensive industries.”

Minister Andrzej J. Piotrowski (Undersecretary of State and Minister of Energy) said:

“I am very pleased that agreement has been reached during my visit to the United Kingdom. It is crucial for Poland to leverage our scientific potential by teaming in globally significant deployment of cutting edge technology that have a huge potential to reframe the emission-free energy sector picture. It is a major step in exploring a range of technologies to address future needs of safe, environment friendly, dispersed and still flexible and easy to integrate technologies of co-generative energy production.”

Krzysztof Kurek, Director, NCBJ, explains more:

“We are glad to initiate this collaboration with leading European nuclear industries. It is essential for us to participate in the development of the most advanced reactor technologies which could be used for new applications, important for the Polish and European industry.”

U-Battery is a micro-modular reactor being developed to produce local power and heat for a range of energy needs, including but not limited to energy intensive industries and isolated locations.

The partners developing U-Battery are URENCO, Amec Foster Wheeler, Atkins, Cammell Laird and Laing O’Rourke.


U-Battery achieves significant technical milestones
24 March

In the first quarter of 2016, U-Battery accomplished some significant technical milestones in the development programme.

Steve Threlfall, General Manager, U-Battery comments:

“We are pleased to report that many of the components of the U-Battery programme have been reviewed as part of the evolution of our design and cost estimation programme and are confirmed to be at medium to high Technology Readiness Levels. From the outset, our strategy was to use existing technology to minimise development risk and ensure delivery could be faster and more efficient than traditional nuclear projects.”

Areas recently developed include the concept design of the Reactor Pressure Vessel and Intermediate Heat Exchanger and the team are continuing to raise the TRL levels of other major components specific to U-Battery.

With these milestones achieved, U-Battery is engaging with potential UK-based suppliers in areas such as the manufacture, supply, and value engineering of key nuclear components, and the supply of gas turbine technology which will allow each U-Battery to provide 4 MW of high-efficiency, low-carbon electricity.

U-Battery is a micro-modular reactor being developed by URENCO, AMEC FW, WS Atkins, Cammell-Laird and Laing O’Rourke.

Assembly Render


Mini nuclear plant could power UK homes
20 July

A mini nuclear power generation on a site the size of two squash courts could soon provide power to local communities in the UK.

Developer U-Battery – part of the uranium enrichment giant Urenco – is working through the design phase of a project to build the low cost 4MW generators.

The company said that initially it was designing the units to provide back up power to existing and planned nuclear power plants. But it added that the aim was to build stand alone units.

U-Battery project lead Steve Threlfall told a conference in London last week that the system used a stable Triso coated fuel particle currently manufactured in the United States.

Threlfall said: “The life expectancy is 60 years and it will be refuelled every five years. We see our market in the UK but also for remote sites across the world.”

The project has been in development since 2008 and has been worked on in collaboration with the University of Manchester, Atkins and Amec Foster Wheeler.


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