Presidential Visit Oct 2019Technical Lecture Automobile Division Chair’s Address - 100 Years of Bentley MotorsWirral Arts Festival – How engineering and technology are transforming the healthcare sector!Technical Lecture - The U-Battery, providing local low carbon energy? Visit to the Queensway (Birkenhead) TunnelNew Members Event July 2019Technical Visit to Hoylake Station- June 2019Technical Visit – Tata Steel- Apr 19Technical Lecture Arion 5- Feb 19Atlas Copco Visit- Nov 2018Energy Storage Talk- Nov 2018Wirral Arts Festival- Oct 2018Urenco Site Visit July 2018New Members Event July 2018UAS Challenge June 2018Community Hydro visitCammell Laird- Apprentice VisitEESW Big Bang - March 2018Annual Dinner - March 2018Land Rover 4x4 Schools Technology Challenge Jan 18Space Debris Jan 2018IMechE Engineering Heritage Award - The Daniel Adamson - a fully restored 1903 steam shipEngineering Your Future Careers all day Event- NOv 17Vist to Vauxhall Motors Ellesmere Port Nov 2017Quadcopter Challenge - Nov 2017School's Challenge - Nov 2017Skills Cymru 2017Engineering Your Future Careers all day Event - OctWales GB Rally - Oct 2017Region Supporting Team Falcon F1 in SchoolsWales National Eisteddfod - August 2017Presidential Visit and Annual Dinner - March 2017Bangor Science Festival - March 2017Solar Vehicles - Jan 2017Wave Energy Technical Lecture - Nov 2016Technical Visit to Toyota (Deeside Plant) - May 2016Wales GB RallyRegion Supporting Team Tachyon F1 in SchoolsTechnical Visit to RWEs Dolgarrog Hydro Site - May 2016Technical Visit to Electroimpact - May 2016Breaking the Human Powered land speed record - April 2016EESW Big Bang Event and IMechE Award - April 2016Farwell to Magnox - Seminar - Oct 2015From Formula 1 to Everyday Use (part of the Heswall Arts Festival ) 1 Oct 2015Vehicle Technology: Where Next? 1st Oct 2015Visit to Hoylake Lifeboat Station - Sept 2015Technical Visit to the Anderton Boat Lift - Oct 2013Bright Lights and Engineering Technical Seminar June 2015The History and Design of the Sea PloughYoung Person of the Year 2009 AwardVisit to the Deeside Power StationOpTIC TechniumSustainable EnergyProcessing Energy from WasteSir Alec Issigonis The man and his machineWaterside Most Improved Apprentice 2009Wales National Eisteddfod 2019

Technical Lecture - The U-Battery, providing local low carbon energy?

On Tuesday 15th October we had the benefit of an excellent talk by John Eldridge.

The subject was the U- Battery. This is a concept for a low carbon energy generating plant based on nuclear Fission. John explained some of the challenges of conventional nuclear builds, much of which revolves around the complexity of building such large plants. Some of the issues mentioned included extensive ground works whose costs are hard to accurately predict and the logistics of co-ordinating a huge range of tasks within relatively confined areas. The result being significant time delays and cost over runs.

U Battery aims to overcome these issues by proposing small scale plants, using conventional technology and crucially modular construction. The aim being to have as much of the U Battery as possible built tested and commissioned in the factory prior to shipping to site (plug and play). John used the recent example of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers to illustrate how this could be done.

The U-Battery could be configured to be either an Electricity Generator (10MW) or a Combined Heat and Power Plant, delivering ~ 4MW of electricity along with process steam. Such a plant could be used as the power plant for a large energy intensive industrial plant. It is envisioned that U-Battery (the company) would operate the plant with the (adjacent) industrial plant as the customer. An example of where interest has been expressed is in Canada where there is a significant issue with supplying energy to industrial operations eg. Mines in remote areas. Currently this has to be done by (ice) trucking large quantities of Diesel.

The U Battery is a small nuclear reactor, small enough to be trucked, (meaning full commissioning prior to arrival on site). The reactor is gas cooled using Helium, with a secondary circuit using Nitrogen. John then explained a series of ways in which all of the traditionally difficult issues associated with Nuclear Power plants (eg. Refuelling, Storage of spent fuel etc.) could be overcome given the advantages of a small scale plant, modular construction and the use of known and conventional technology.

There followed a lively question and answer session from a very engaged audience from a variety of backgrounds. This had to be terminated in order to ensure that John got home at a reasonable hour.

The event was clearly enjoyed by all, Feedback was excellent. Many thanks to John

John Pollard 
I.Mech.E. Regional Chairman – Merseyside and N Wale



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