60 seconds with… Ian Andrews, U-Battery

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Ian Andrews, U-Drums

Ahead of his presentation next month, we’ll get an advanced look at Ian Andrews’ recent successes at U-Battery in developing the latest advanced modular reactor designs.

For more information on the Advanced Nuclear Reactor Design Seminar and to reserve your place, please visit the event website.

Please briefly explain your role, involvement and experience in nuclear and nuclear new build

Ian Andrews (IA): I am a licensed engineer and a member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. I have 12 years of experience in the nuclear enrichment industry including design, construction, commissioning and gas centrifuge plant projects in Europe and the United States and am a a key member of the AMR delivery team and I joined U-Battery in May 2021, as the lead engineer responsible for providing conceptual design for a number of reactor systems.

What is the biggest challenge facing the industry right now?

AI: The main challenge facing this and other safety-critical sectors is the lack of experienced engineering resources. A situation exacerbated in the nuclear industry by a conservative culture that tends to absorb large numbers of people and therefore develop bespoke, bespoke designs that frequently result in cost and schedule overruns. A second problem is a nuclear supply chain that has shrunk in capacity and capacity due to long-term low activity in the sector.

How would you say the industry has evolved over the past two years?

AI: There seems to be a realization that the approach to delivering a nuclear power plant the way of the past two decades is not fit for purpose in an age of limited resources, the supply chain fragmented and where it is essential to quickly deliver a suite of practical carbon-neutral energy solutions.

What are the current developments in your industry that will change your approach in the future?

AI: The U-Battery team has been operating with an alternative model for 5 years, based on a small, very versatile team comprising specialist contractors, offering a concept based on solutions manufactured, assembled and tested in the factory to minimize on-site activities. This required close collaboration between multiple players and proved effective in delivering the conceptual design phase of the U-Battery AMR on time and on budget, despite the negative impact of Covid19. A key element to the successful delivery was that the U-Battery team actively recruited a number of its senior engineers from non-nuclear safety critical sectors, including heavy engineering, oil and gas, chemicals, rotating machines and others.

What will you be presenting at the Advanced Nuclear Reactor 2022 Seminar and how will it benefit attendees?

AI: The presentation will share the philosophy and key innovations adopted by the U-Battery delivery team to successfully deliver the concept design. It will include the system delivery approach focused on wholesale adoption of factory build modules, skids, civil structures and other deliverables. The U-Battery team demonstrated a flexible, collaborative and innovative approach that benefited the project, participating companies and individual engineers and specialists. Key highlights will be shared from the recent U-Battery Experience Learning Event.

What other speakers and presentations are you looking forward to hearing at the next seminar?

AI: We will look to see where collaborations can be established by U-Battery with other projects on common issues such as module manufacturing, common systems such as pumps and valves to the mutual benefit of suppliers and the supply chain. ‘supply.

Why is it important for engineers and nuclear industry representatives to come together and share best practices?

AI: It is important to share best practices, but this should involve more than those in the nuclear ‘bubble’, as this tends to restrict original thinking and innovation. It should recognize that the majority of the engineering and delivery challenges of these projects are non-nuclear specific and are therefore critical to maximizing learning and credit across all sectors. A typical example of this approach for U-Battery has been the adoption of the best practices of unmanned offshore oil and gas installations in autonomous control.

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