U-Battery on 23 February announced the establishment of a Canadian subsidiary, U-Battery Canada Ltd, to advance the development of its 10 MWt/4MWe high-temperature gas micro-modular reactor being developed by Urenco in partnership with Wood, Cammell Laird, Laing O’Rourke and Kinectrics. It is intended to provide a clean, cost-effective and safe source of electricity and heat for remote sites and off-grid locations. The U-Battery consortium in March 2017 registered its reactor technology for pre-licensing vendor design review with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
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. 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.
U-Battery General Manager Steve Threlfall said: “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 strong market interest in 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.”
The project was initiated in 2008 by Urenco, and the U-Battery design concept was developed by the Universities of Manchester, the Dalton Institute and the Technology University of Delft. The development consortium aims to have a demonstration reactor operating by 2025 and estimates that capital costs will be £40-70m ($49-86m) by the time the fourth unit is produced. One U-Battery reactor produces 10MWt and can provide 750 degrees Celsius of process heat or up to 4MWe as electricity. It will be cooled with helium gas-cooled and will use Triso fuel comprising spherical particles of uranium fuel with a triple carbon-coating.