Lightbridge Corp. (Nasdaq: LTBR) said its nuclear fuel will be tested at a prototype nuclear reactor in Norway.
Norway’s Institute for Energy Technology (IFE), which operates the Halden Research Reactor in Oslo, was granted an export license by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs covering all planned activities relating to the fuel. Activities include irradiation testing of Lightbridge’s advanced metallic fuel samples under prototypic operating conditions, as well as discharge of irradiated fuel samples from IFE’s Halden research reactor.
The export license is valid for an initial three-year term through October 31, 2018, and is extendable. Lightbridge’s metallic fuel design is designed to provide an increase in power output while extending the operating cycle length in pressurized water reactors.
Lightbridge and IFE entered into a binding services agreement for irradiation testing of Lightbridge’s nuclear fuel samples. Post-irradiation examination of irradiated fuel samples at Studsvik in Sweden requires a separate Norwegian export license, for which IFE plans to apply. IFE’s Safety Committee in September approved Lightbridge’s planned loop irradiation experiment in the Halden reactor. IFE will then submit a safety report on the metallic fuel samples to the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority as part of an application for regulatory approval of the experiment.
The company also announced that initial task and purchase orders have been issued under previously announced agreements with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories and IFE. Work on both projects is underway with the initial phase of irradiation testing to begin in early 2017 and continue for about three years to reach the burnup necessary for insertion of lead test assemblies (LTA) in a commercial power reactor. The fibnal phase of irradiation testing necessary for batch reloads and full cores operating with a 10 percent power uprate and a 24-month cycle is expected to take another two years.
Subscribe to Nuclear Power International magazine