Lightbridge Corp. and AREVA NP reached a joint development agreement (JDA) this week to facilitate the development and manufacture of Lightbridge's metallic fuel assembly design concept.
Through this agreement, both companies will form a joint venture to develop, manufacture and market the design.
“We are enthusiastic to partner with AREVA NP under this agreement that paves the way toward formation of a joint venture focused on developing, licensing, manufacturing and commercializing fuel assemblies based on Lightbridge’s metallic nuclear fuel,” Lightbridge President and CEO Seth Grae said. “As one of the largest nuclear fuel manufacturers, AREVA NP has the resources and expertise to enable global deployment of our metallic fuel in commercial reactors. The Nuclear Utility Fuel Advisory Board (NUFAB), comprising nuclear fuel and regulatory experts from Dominion Resources, Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Duke Energy, and Exelon Generation, have requested that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) prepare to receive initial regulatory licensing documentation in 2017. With today’s agreement with AREVA NP, we are confident that we remain on track to meet that goal.”
Both companies have taken on the remaining developmental and fabrication work to demonstrate the fuel assemblies' viability as a fuel source for nuclear reactors, and both companies will be working with each other on an exclusive basis in this area until the joint venture is fully created, which is anticipated by the end of the year.