Lightbridge, Norwegian IFE enter irradiation testing agreement

Norway's Institute for Energy Technology (IFE) and Lightbridge have entered an agreement to test irradiation of the company's metallic nuclear fuel samples, they announced on Thursday.

Currently, the institute is in the application process for regulatory approval to conduct the tests at the facility's Halden Reactor.

“Our collaboration with Lightbridge comes at a time of heightened awareness of the potential role of commercial nuclear energy in addressing the increasing demand for low-carbon base load electricity to mitigate the negative effects of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, as pointed out by the U.N. Climate Panel and the International Energy Agency,” Atle Valseth, IFE deputy president and research director for nuclear technology, said. “Contributing to safe operation of nuclear power plants is the objective of the research being performed at the Halden reactor. We are pleased to contribute to the licensing process for safe operation of the Lightbridge fuel. IFE appreciates that Lightbridge will utilize the Halden reactor in this work, which confirms the relevance of our facilities and the competence of our staff. Our staff looks forward to working with Lightbridge on this critical safety demonstration of a promising new fuel design.”

This testing agreement is valid for a 10-year period and the tests will simulate commercial nuclear reactor operating conditions. According to the company, an independent third-party confirmed aspects of the fuel designs including its heat transfer abilities and that the product can produce approximately 10 percent more power with longer fuel cycles and 17 percent higher output with traditional fuel cycles.

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