MCLEAN, Va., March 21, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lightbridge Corporation (Nasdaq:LTBR) today announced that an independent analysis by Pace Global, a Siemens (NYSE:SI) business, confirms the Company's patented metallic fuel design has superior non-proliferation benefits compared to current nuclear fuels.
According to the report , the reasons for the superior non-proliferation benefits include:
- "The amount of residual plutonium [at the end of the fuel's useful life] is significantly smaller in the Lightbridge designs" and there are "large fractions of neutron [absorbing elements] in Lightbridge metallic fuel" that would poison an attempt to make an explosive device from the material;
- Any attempt to reprocess spent Lightbridge fuel would require "additional complex chemical processing of the metallic portion of the fuel," and "it is believed no industrial-scale process has been developed for this purpose;"
- "Current U.S. reactor fuels and the proposed Lightbridge design are all classified as LEU (low enriched uranium)" that "cannot be used directly for the construction of nuclear weapons." "If a diverter had the necessary access to enrichment facilities, it would actually be more efficient and stealthy for the [diverter] to process natural uranium to the highly enriched state," as opposed to processing LEU.
"We are pleased by this independent confirmation of the fuel's significant non-proliferation benefits and by the steady achievement of technical milestones on the way to regulatory approval and commercialization of our fuel," said Seth Grae, Lightbridge President and CEO.A December 2012 Pace Global analysis of Lightbridge fuel concluded that "Lightbridge's metallic fuel can deliver significantly improved economics to nuclear utilities from increased power output and extended fuel cycles, resulting in highly attractive returns on invested capital, even with conservative assumptions on reactor conversion and regulatory licensing costs, and fuel technology licensing fees paid to Lightbridge," Grae added.