Royal Navy team wins Churchill Medal for submarine nuclear reactor repair

1 December 2017 (Last Updated December 1st, 2017 11:27)

The British Royal Navy's Submarine Mechanical Specialists team has received the prestigious Churchill Medal Award for its submarine nuclear reactor repair method.

Royal Navy team wins Churchill Medal for submarine nuclear reactor repair
The winning team with the Churchill Medal Award 2017. Credit: Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

The British Royal Navy’s Submarine Mechanical Specialists team has received the prestigious Churchill Medal Award for its submarine nuclear reactor repair method.

The medal is being awarded in recognition of the team’s latest application of freeze seal isolation techniques, which were used for a technically challenging repair of a submarine’s nuclear reactor.

Personnel from the Submarine Mechanical Specialists team successfully adapted a process using liquid nitrogen to freeze and isolate sections of pipework in order to meet the challenging engineering constraints presented by submarines due their restrictive space and geometry.

"The Royal Navy’s new method is expected to provide the UK Submarine Enterprise with increased flexibility during its operations, as well as wider applications across the entire nuclear network."

The application represented the first ever deployment of a triple freeze seal to repair a nuclear reactor.

The Royal Navy’s new method is expected to provide the UK Submarine Enterprise with increased flexibility during its operations, as well as wider applications across the entire nuclear network worldwide.

It was recognised at the Joint Professional Engineering Institutions (PEI) Churchill Medal Award ceremony as a result of the new projected benefits.

The medal was jointly awarded by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST), Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), Institution of Royal Engineers (InstRE) and Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), as well as the Society of Operations Engineers (SOE) and British Computer Society (BCS).

IET chief executive Nigel Fine said: “The outstanding contribution the Royal Navy Submarine Mechanical Specialists team has made to global advancements in engineering and technology across the entire nuclear industry demonstrates technical excellence, determination and self-sacrifice.

“On behalf of the Joint PEI, I am delighted to see the team’s achievement awarded with the Churchill Medal.”