Lightbridge's all-metal nuclear fuel assembly shows promise

Lightbridge nuclear fuel test assembly
Lightbridge nuclear fuel test assembly | Courtesy of Lightbtidge

The Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) late last week detailed the development of a thorium-based nuclear fuel assembly from Lightbridge Corp.

The company said that with this new fuel type, operators at nuclear facilities will be able to increase power output.

“Lightbridge-designed metallic fuel enables existing reactor fleets to expand their generating capacity at the lowest total levelized cost per megawatt-hour of incremental electricity, which is a lower cost than even a new-build combined cycle gas-fired power plant,” Lightbridge CEO Seth Grae said.

Grae also said the fuel is estimated to provide power uprates of approximately 17 percent in many operating reactors and approximately 30 percent increases for newer nuclear reactors, such as the AP 1000 from Westinghouse. Grae also said the fuel would allow for longer run times and fewer refuelings. The design also received support from the Nuclear Utility Fuel Advisory Board (NUFAB) in the form of a request to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the commission to review the assembly for commercial use.

The company said earlier this month that its design was accepted by Norwegian authorities and will be tested at the Halden Research Reactor. The company also reached a fabricating contract with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories.

Organizations in this Story

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories Nuclear Energy Institute U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Want to get notified whenever we write about any of these organizations ?
Next time we write about any of these organizations, we'll email you a link to the story. You may edit your settings or unsubscribe at any time.