Today, NuScale Power and Enfission, LLC, a joint venture of Lightbridge Corporation (NASDAQ: LTBR) and Framatome, announced a memorandum of understanding to explore the use of next generation nuclear fuel technology in NuScale’s small modular reactors.
While NuScale’s plant design is already the most resilient nuclear reactor in the world, Lightbridge Fuel could spur improvements in core design, performance, and levelized costs of electricity.
“As NuScale continues making progress to bring America’s first small modular reactor to market, we are excited to begin work with Virginia-based Enfission, the industry leader in metallic fuel rod technology,” said NuScale Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer José Reyes. “We look forward to further optimizing all aspects of our unparalleled advanced nuclear reactor design.”
Enfission is developing and commercializing next generation nuclear fuel technology that will significantly improve the economics and safety of existing and new reactors. NuScale and Enfission will collaborate on the development of research and testing programs to explore the application of Enfission’s nuclear fuel rod technology, which is well suited for NuScale’s natural circulation design. The company’s advanced fuel rod design is expected to increase core performance, extend core life, reduce refueling outages and offer reduced levelized cost of electricity.
On December 1, 2015, Framatome signed an agreement with NuScale to manufacture fuel assemblies for its SMR based on conventional ceramic uranium dioxide fuel and provide testing and analyses needed for its Nuclear Regulatory Commission design certification application. The addition of Enfission’s Lightbridge Fuel™ into the equation further solidifies this relationship and will provide future flexibility on fuel types depending on the reactor demands.
“We look forward to working with NuScale Power, with our patented metallic fuel technology contributing to NuScale’s ground-breaking progress in introducing the country’s first small modular reactor,” said Seth Grae, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lightbridge and Enfission.
NuScale’s technology is the world’s first and only SMR to undergo design certification review by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The NRC is scheduled to complete its review of NuScale’s design in September 2020.
Source: Company Press Release