Small Modular Reactors
Small modular reactors (SMRs) are nuclear fission reactors that are smaller than conventional reactors. The term “small” in the context of SMRs refers to design power output.
Small modular reactors have a power output of less than 300 MWe. The term “modular” in the context of SMRs refers to its scalability and to the ability to fabricate major components of the nuclear steam supply system (NSSS) in a factory environment and then transported them to the site.
See also: www.nuclear-power.com
The U-Battery is a proposed small modular reactor (SMR) design that is being developed by a consortium led by Urenco, a UK-based nuclear fuel company. Here are some key characteristics of the U-Battery reactor:
- Size and power output: The U-Battery is designed to be a small modular reactor with a thermal capacity of up to 10 MW, and an electrical output of up to 4 MW.
- High-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) design: The U-Battery uses a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) design, which uses helium as a coolant and can operate at high temperatures of up to 750°C.
- Modular design: The U-Battery is designed to be built in a modular fashion, with each unit consisting of a small reactor module, a turbine module, and a control and instrumentation module. This modular design allows for easier construction and deployment of the reactors.
- Fuel technology: The U-Battery uses a novel type of nuclear fuel that is based on tristructural isotropic (TRISO) fuel particles, which are highly resistant to damage and failure.
- Flexible deployment: The U-Battery is designed to be used for a range of applications, including as a source of electricity for remote communities or industrial sites, as well as for non-electrical applications such as hydrogen production.
- Advanced safety features: The U-Battery incorporates several advanced safety features, including a passive cooling system that can operate without external power or human intervention, and a containment system that can prevent the release of radioactive material in the event of an accident.
The U-Battery reactor is still in the design and development phase, with plans to build a demonstration unit in Canada by the mid-2020s.