Lightbridge gets Korean patent for proprietary fuel technology

The Korean Intellectual Property Office  recently issued the Lightbridge Corp. a key patent that expands international protection for the company’s proprietary nuclear fuel technology.

The patent covers Lightbridge’s multi-lobed metallic fuel rod design and fuel assemblies, which enhance reactor safety and improve nuclear plant operating economics.

Lightbridge President and CEO Seth Grae said the patent is another important milestone in the development of the company’s fuel assembly designs for new and existing pressurized water reactors.

"Korea represents a significant potential market for Lightbridge metallic fuel, with 24 operating pressurized water reactors and 12 reactors either under construction or planned by 2035, according to the most current data compiled by the World Nuclear Association," Grae said.

South Korea also is an active exporter of nuclear power reactors, marketing its units in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia. The South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy aims to export 80 reactors worth $400 billion by 2030, the association reported.

Grae said the advantages of Lightbridge's metallic fuel design were confirmed in independent third-party analyses published in 2012 and 2013.

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