The UK Royal Navy Submarine Mechanical Specialists team won the Churchill Medal for its innovative adaptation of freeze seal isolation, which was used for the first time for a submarine nuclear reactor repair. The industry award is given for individual for outstanding achievements and contribution in engineering and technical advancement in support of military operations
The team adapted a technique using liquid nitrogen to freeze and isolate sections of pipework to meet the challenging engineering environment presented by submarines due to restrictive space and geometry.
The work resulted in the first-ever deployment of a triple freeze seal to repair a nuclear reactor, giving the UK Submarine Enterprise increased flexibility in its operations, with applications across the entire global nuclear industry.
The medal is awarded jointly by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST), the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Institution of Royal Engineers (InstRE), the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Society of Operations Engineers (SOE) and the British Computer Society (BCS).