29 Nov 2017

Royal Navy recognised for world’s first nuclear submarine repair

The Royal Navy Submarine Mechanical Specialists team has won a prestigious award in recognition of its innovative application of freeze seal isolation to repair a submarine’s nuclear reactor.

To meet the engineering constraints associated with submarine repair – issues of space and geometry, for example – Royal Navy specialists made canny use of liquid nitrogen to freeze and isolate areas of pipework. This was to be the first ever use of a triple freeze seal to repair a nuclear reactor, with wider implications across the entire global nuclear network.

The pioneering technique was recognised at the Joint Professional Engineering Institutions (PEI) Churchill Medal Award ceremony and lunch held at IET London. The Right Honorable Sir Nicholas Soames MP – grandson of Sir Winston Churchill – presented the award winners with their medal alongside Air Marshal Julian Young and Major General Carew Wilks from event sponsor BAE Systems.

Commander Philip Parvin of the Royal Navy Submarine Mechanical Specialists team commented: “We are really stunned and honoured to win this prestigious industry medal, particularly when we were up against teams who are dealing with very complex areas of engineering, such as cyber. It is testament to the hard work and efforts of the whole team.”

Speaking on behalf of the Joint PEIs, Nigel Fine – Chief Executive of the Institution of Engineering and Technology – 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 Professional Engineering Institutions, I am delighted to see the team’s achievement awarded with the Churchill Medal.”

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