RESTON, Va., May 30, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lightbridge Corporation (NASDAQ:LTBR), a U.S. nuclear energy company, today announced that it has received a Notice of Allowance in the People's Republic of China for another key patent covering a tri-lobe variant of its extruded metallic fuel rods used in Russian-type VVER reactors. The actual grant of the patent is contingent upon payment of the issuance fee which has since been paid by Lightbridge. The patent is expected to be issued in the coming weeks.
Seth Grae, President & Chief Executive Officer of Lightbridge Corporation, commented, "This latest patent expands the scope of our patent protection in China by adding coverage for Russian-type VVER reactors, which are the dominant type of reactors currently under construction worldwide. China has two VVER-1000 reactors in operation at the Tianwan site, with two more VVER-1000 units under construction and an additional two VVER-1200 reactors being proposed for construction at the same site. With our previously issued patents covering Western-type PWR reactors, we have built a robust patent portfolio in China, which represents a significant market for Lightbridge metallic fuel for deployment in both existing and new-build reactors."
China has 36 nuclear power reactors currently in operation and 21 under construction. Additional reactors are planned, to give more than a three-fold increase in nuclear capacity to at least 58 GWe by 2020-21, then up to 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050, making China the largest growth market in the world for nuclear power, according to the most current data compiled by the World Nuclear Association.
"Lightbridge metallic fuel could be particularly attractive in China, to offer a 30% power uprate capability to new-build PWR and VVER nuclear power plants, resulting in an estimated 13% reduction in upfront capital costs to build the plants. Based on an estimated capital cost of $4,500 per kilowatt of generating capacity, the capital cost savings could total approximately $85 billion to deploy an additional 150 GWe of nuclear power through 2050," added Grae.
About Lightbridge Corporation
Lightbridge (NASDAQ:LTBR) is a nuclear fuel technology company based in Reston, Virginia, USA. The Company develops proprietary next generation nuclear fuel technologies for current and future reactors. The technology significantly enhances the economics and safety of nuclear power, operating about 1000° C cooler than standard fuel. Lightbridge invented, patented and has independently validated the technology, including successful demonstration of the fuel in a research reactor with near-term plans to demonstrate the fuel under commercial reactor conditions. The Company has assembled a world class development team including veterans of leading global fuel manufacturers. Four large electric utilities that generate about half the nuclear power in the US already advise Lightbridge on fuel development and deployment. The Company operates under a licensing and royalty model, independently validated and based on the increased power generated by Lightbridge-designed fuel and high ROI for operators of existing and new reactors. The economic benefits are further enhanced by anticipated carbon credits available under the Clean Power Plan. Lightbridge also provides comprehensive advisory services for established and emerging nuclear programs based on a philosophy of transparency, non-proliferation, safety and operational excellence. For more information please visit: www.ltbridge.com.
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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 Power Plan and similar regulations, the Company's anticipated financial resources and position, the Company's product and service offerings, 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; 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