Lightbridge (LTBR), AREVA NP to Enter Metallic Nuclear Fuel Development JV

November 2, 2016 8:05 AM EDT
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Lightbridge Corporation (Nasdaq: LTBR) and AREVA NP, have agreed upon key terms for the creation of a new joint venture to develop, manufacture and commercialize fuel assemblies based on Lightbridge’s innovative metallic nuclear fuel technology designed to significantly improve the economics, efficiency and safety of existing and new nuclear power facilities.

The two companies signed a term sheet on October 31, 2016, outlining key agreements for a U.S.-based joint venture to be equally owned by each company and covers fuel assemblies for most types of light water reactors, including pressurized water reactors (PWRs), boiling water reactors (BWRs), small modular reactors (SMRs) and research reactors. The two companies expect to formalize the joint venture in the coming months.

Lightbridge CEO Seth Grae said: “This agreement with AREVA NP on key terms for a joint venture company creates a viable and well-defined commercialization path for our patented metallic nuclear fuel technology in the global market, including in the United States, Europe and Asia. Lightbridge fuel holds the promise of enhancing the safety and economics of nuclear power plants and will allow utilities to generate more carbon-free electricity, qualifying for Emission Rate Credits under the U.S. Clean Power Plan.”

Mr. Grae continued: “This agreement marks a major milestone for Lightbridge. We appreciate the support from AREVA NP in rapidly moving this process forward. As the world’s leading nuclear fuel manufacturer, AREVA NP is an ideal partner with extensive industry knowledge and expertise in nuclear fuel assembly design, licensing and fabrication. In addition to the strong support and guidance we have received from leading electric utilities and reactor operators, this term sheet for a joint venture with AREVA NP is further validation of the growing global interest in and demand for our nuclear fuel technology.”

“We look forward to advancing nuclear fuel performance through this relationship, combining AREVA NP’s expertise in nuclear fuel design and fabrication with Lightbridge’s innovative metallic nuclear fuel concept,” said Lionel Gaiffe, senior executive vice president of the Fuel Business Unit for AREVA NP. “Next-generation fuel technology has significant potential to help sustain existing nuclear energy assets, which will serve as the foundation for a clean energy portfolio worldwide.”

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