In March, the proliferation resistance of the Company's fuel design was validated in an independent analysis conducted by Siemens Industry, Inc. "…(T)he proposed Lightbridge design (is) classified as low enriched uranium (that) cannot be used directly for the construction of nuclear weapons," the report says.
An earlier Siemens Industry analysis of the Company's fuel design validated the technology's benefits of increased power output and enhanced operating economics for nuclear utilities. "The value proposition of Lightbridge's metallic fuel, combined with its proliferation resistance and safety benefits, represent a compelling suite of solutions to big issues that confront nuclear utilities around the world," Grae said.
A peer-reviewed article on Lightbridge metallic fuel technology was published in the December 2012 edition of the American Nuclear Society journal Nuclear Technology . An abstract of the article is available at http://www.new.ans.org/pubs/journals/nt/v_180:3 . "The article's publication provides further validation of Lightbridge fuel technology at an important stage in Company negotiations on fuel fabrication for the planned irradiation testing at research reactors in Russia and the U.S.," Grae said.
Lightbridge also reiterated key research and development milestones for its fuel technology.
- Demonstrate the full-scale fabrication process for Lightbridge metallic fuel rods in 2013-2014.
- Perform in-reactor and out-of-reactor experiments in 2013-2016.
- Develop analytical models in 2013-2016 for the Company's metallic fuel technology that can be used for regulatory licensing activities.
- Begin lead test assembly (LTA) operation in a full-size commercial light water reactor in 2017-2018, which involves testing a limited number of the full-scale fuel assemblies in the core of a commercial nuclear power plant over three 18-month cycles.