Lightbridge receives approval for US patent for metallic nuclear fuel assembly design

Published on January 24, 2018 by Kevin Randolph

© Shutterstock

Lightbridge Corporation announced Monday that it has received a notice of allowance for a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office related to its metallic nuclear fuel assembly design.

The allowance extends Lightbridge’s patent portfolio coverage in the United States to an entire metallic fuel assembly design for Western-type pressurized water reactors that includes two-thirds of those in operation worldwide. Lightbridge’s metallic fuel designs can also be adapted for use in other power reactors.

“This latest notice for a U.S. patent further expands the broad global patent protection already surrounding our fuel,” Lightbridge President and CEO Seth Grae said. “This particular patent focuses on the fuel assembly design, building on an earlier US patent involving metallic fuel rod design and other US patents for a different variant of the seed-and-blanket fuel assembly design. The intellectual property in our proprietary fuel designs reflects years of research and tireless effort by our team, including many of the leading experts within the nuclear energy field.”

Lightbridge has also over the past year secured patents in China, South Korea, and the European Union related to its fuel design. The company is also finalizing a joint venture with Framatome to further develop and commercialize metallic fuel for nuclear plants around the world.