U-Battery granted UK patent
13 January 2023
U-Battery has been granted its first legal patent for the design of its high temperature gas-cooled reactor fuel element and core.
The team received the news from the UK Intellectual Property Office, which published the protective status on 11 January in its online journal.
It means the fuel element and 10MWt reactor core design are protected in law for five years and up to a maximum of 20 years.
The granting of the patent – which is the first for the project – is the culmination of several years’ work and dissuades third parties from copying the design.
U-Battery is currently pursuing similar patents in the USA and Canada.
Chief Engineer of U-Battery, Prof. Tim Abram, who worked on the design alongside Dr Kornelia Wolodzko, said:
“This is a great step forward for the team and all of our partners who have helped take the U-Battery from feasibility study through to concept design, and underlines our novel approach to delivering safe, reliable, low-carbon energy on a local scale.
“The patent covers our new fuel element design and a novel core arrangement that allows us to deliver the full power output of the reactor for five years without the need to shut down for refuelling.”
General Manager of U-Battery, Steve Threlfall, said:
“To achieve another significant milestone in such a short space of time, and with the new year upon us, is particularly heartening.
“I’d like to thank the whole team for their contributions, including our young graduate engineers and partners, and those who have since moved on.”
U-Battery is an advanced/small modular reactor, capable of providing a low-carbon, cost-effective, locally embedded and reliable source of power and heat for energy intensive industry and remote locations. It is being developed by Urenco in collaboration with a number of supporting organisations and has received funding from the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's Energy Innovation Portfolio.