MCLEAN, Va., May 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lightbridge Corporation (Nasdaq:LTBR), a leading innovator of next generation nuclear fuel designs and provider of nuclear energy consulting services to commercial and governmental organizations, today provided a business update on the progress of its nuclear fuel technology and consulting operations and reported financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2013.
"Strategic interest is growing in Lightbridge nuclear fuel designs together with increased awareness and independent validation of our metallic fuel's significant safety and economic benefits, compared to conventional uranium oxide fuel," said Seth Grae, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Lightbridge technology remains well positioned to answer the most pressing global questions facing the commercial nuclear energy industry as the industry works to deliver safer, long-term, efficient, base-load and carbon-free electric power."
Lightbridge is developing and commercializing next generation nuclear fuel technology with benefits of increasing power output of existing and new reactors, reducing nuclear waste, improving safety and enhancing proliferation resistance of spent fuel. Lightbridge's comprehensive advisory services are helping existing clients with on-time and on-budget development and regulation of nuclear power plants to expand electricity generation capabilities.2013 First Quarter Business Update Fuel Technology Over the past four months, two independent studies, a peer-reviewed article and analytical models were completed and published that validate the proliferation resistance and safety and economic benefits of Lightbridge fuel technology, Grae said. "Nuclear fuel managers at the largest U.S. nuclear utilities are enthusiastic about the safety features of our metallic fuel design," he added. "Lightbridge fuel could help moderate the expense of post-Fukushima safety requirements that are driving up power plant operating and construction costs. Nothing is more expensive at a nuclear power plant than safety." In a large break, loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) scenario, preliminary analytical modeling shows that the temperature of zirconium cladding on Lightbridge metallic fuel rods remains at least 200 degrees Celsius below the temperature at which steam begins to react with zirconium to generate hydrogen gas and an explosion risk. Additional tests are planned to confirm these preliminary results, Grae said. Under normal conditions, Lightbridge fuels are designed to operate approximately 1,000 degrees Celsius lower than conventional uranium oxide fuels.