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MCLEAN, Va., June 15, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lightbridge Corporation (Nasdaq:LTBR), the leading developer of non-proliferative nuclear fuel technology and provider of comprehensive advisory services for civil nuclear energy programs, today announced that its joint nuclear fuel testing proposal with Texas A&M University has been approved by the Idaho National Laboratory Advanced Test Reactor National Scientific User Facility (ATR NSUF).
The proposal entitled "Irradiation Behavior and Performance of a Uranium-Zirconium Metal Alloy Fuel" includes capsule irradiation testing of Lightbridge-designed uranium-zirconium metal fuel samples in the Advanced Test Reactor and their post-irradiation examination in hot cells at Idaho National Laboratory (INL), which is one of the leading national laboratories of the US Department of Energy. It is anticipated that the total program will span a period of approximately four years. As the project progresses, interim and final results will be published by the INL-Texas A&M University-Lightbridge research team in a major technical journal.
The full text of the INL press release is available at:
"This is a positive technical development for Lightbridge as it provides us access to US-based test facilities on a cost-sharing basis," said Lightbridge CEO Seth Grae. "We have been testing and demonstrating our advanced nuclear fuel designs in test facilities in Russia for a number of years. Our joint project with Texas A&M University at INL will be part of a US-based testing and demonstration program, with a focus on Western-type light water reactors. The proposed project went through extensive technical review and evaluation by technical experts from INL and DOE officials. We are pleased to see this US government interest in the technology."
Sean McDeavitt, Assistant Professor, Nuclear Engineering, at Texas A&M University, stated, "It's very exciting to be selected for this program. The primary goal of this project is to continue the development of the advanced fuel design created by Lightbridge. On the other hand, I believe that the students will be the biggest winners. Texas A&M University has the largest Department of Nuclear Engineering in the country and the Advanced Test Reactor National Scientific User Facility is one of the few remaining centers where active radiation performance testing may be accomplished. The work we accomplish will provide experience, knowledge and information that will transcend the mission of the project. The graduate and undergraduate students working in TAMU's Fuel Cycle and Materials Laboratory will participate and observe this irradiation test program and gain unique capabilities that are not available anywhere else in the United States. As an educator, I will be able to translate the experience and results into the classroom. Everybody wins."