RESTON, Va., May 12, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lightbridge Corporation (NASDAQ:LTBR), a U.S. nuclear energy company, today announced that it has been granted a key patent covering its metallic nuclear fuel assembly design and a method for manufacturing extruded metallic fuel rods in countries that are signatories to the Eurasian Patent Convention. These countries include Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyz Republic, and Republic of Moldova. Of these countries, Lightbridge intends to maintain the Eurasian patent in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus, which represent key potential markets in that region. The new patent extends patent protection for the Company’s metallic fuel assembly design and manufacturing process to 2031.
Seth Grae, President & Chief Executive Officer of Lightbridge Corporation, commented, “We are pleased to expand our patent portfolio in Russia and other key countries in the Eurasia region as we prepare for fuel manufacturing and commercial demonstration of our fuel. This latest patent is an illustration of our successful strategy to expand the scope and geographic footprint of our intellectual property to all key nuclear energy markets.”
According to the World Nuclear Association, Russia currently has 34 reactor units in operation. Russia plans to commission an average of one new reactor per year between now and 2025. From 2028 to 2035, Russia plans to deploy two 1200 MWe-class new reactors per year. Belarus has two 1200-MWe new reactors under construction, with two more units proposed for about five years after the first two units are commissioned. In addition to being a large natural uranium miner and exporter, Kazakhstan has the internationally-significant Ulba Metallurgical Plant. According to the World Nuclear Association, since 1973 Ulba has produced nuclear fuel pellets from Russian-enriched uranium which are used in Russian and Ukrainian VVER and RBMK reactors. Kazatomprom, which is a majority owner of Ulba, has said that it aims to supply up to one third of the world fuel fabrication market by 2030, with China to be an early major customer.
About Lightbridge Corporation
Lightbridge is a nuclear energy company based in Reston, Virginia, USA. The Company develops proprietary next generation nuclear fuel technologies for current and future nuclear reactor systems. Lightbridge's breakthrough fuel technology is establishing new global standards for safe and clean nuclear power and leading the way to a sustainable energy future. The Company also provides comprehensive advisory services for established and emerging nuclear programs based on a philosophy of transparency, non-proliferation, safety and operational excellence. Lightbridge consultants provide integrated strategic advice and expertise across a range of disciplines including regulatory affairs, nuclear reactor procurement and deployment, reactor and fuel technology and international relations. The Company leverages those broad and integrated capabilities by offering its services to commercial entities and governments with a need to establish or expand nuclear industry capabilities and infrastructure.
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Forward Looking Statements
With the exception of historical matters, the matters discussed in this news release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the Company's competitive position, the timing of demonstration testing and commercial production, the Company’s entry into agreements with nuclear fuel manufacturers and the timing thereof, the potential impact of the U.S. Clean Energy Plan and similar regulations, the Company’s anticipated financial resources and position, the Company’s product and service offerings and the expected market for the Company’s product and service offerings. These statements are based on current expectations on the date of this news release and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ significantly from such estimates. The risks include, but are not limited to, the degree of market adoption of the Company's product and service offerings; market competition; dependence on strategic partners; demand for fuel for nuclear reactors; and the Company's ability to manage its business effectively in a rapidly evolving market, as well as other factors described in Lightbridge's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Lightbridge does not assume any obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements, whether as the result of new developments or otherwise. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
Investor Relations Contact: David Waldman/Natalya Rudman Crescendo Communications, LLC Tel. + 1 855-379-9900 Ltbr@crescendo-ir.com