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Lightbridge and AREVA NP Sign Agreements to Immediately Advance Fuel Development
by Staff Writers
Charlotte NC (SPX) Nov 22, 2017

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Lightbridge Corporation and AREVA NP signed three binding agreements that allow the companies to immediately advance development of Lightbridge's innovative metallic fuel technology and protect all associated intellectual property while they finalize their joint venture. Lightbridge is a U.S. nuclear fuel development company and AREVA NP is a leader in servicing and fueling today's reactor fleet and advancing the future of nuclear energy.

The three agreements include a Research and Development Services Agreement, a Co-Ownership Agreement and an Intellectual Property Annex. These agreements are an integral part of the contemplated joint venture and document the final agreement on intellectual property rights. The joint venture is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2018.

Lightbridge's innovative fuel technology is designed to significantly improve the economics and safety of existing and new nuclear power plants. The three agreements govern joint research and development activities, and ownership of intellectual property, including a grant of royalty-based rights of use to existing intellectual property and co-ownership (on a 50-50 basis) of new intellectual property resulting from future joint fuel development activities.

Seth Grae, president and CEO of Lightbridge, said: "With each passing day, the call for innovative solutions to improve nuclear energy's economics and competitiveness only becomes louder.

The agreements we announced today enable us to immediately advance development of Lightbridge's innovative metallic fuel and represent the first concrete step toward monetization of our intellectual property.

Lightbridge's innovative fuel technology is designed to make existing reactors significantly more competitive with other sources of energy, which is needed now more than ever as we witness well-run U.S. nuclear plants close early and new construction projects canceled."

Gary Mignogna, president and CEO of AREVA Inc., said: "These agreements are an important step forward in establishing our joint venture with Lightbridge to bring their state-of-the-art metallic fuel technology to market. Partnerships like this are vital to ensure that today's nuclear energy facilities have the technologies they need to operate efficiently for decades to come and can continue to provide needed low-carbon and reliable electricity."

Lionel Gaiffe, senior executive vice president of the Fuel Business Unit at AREVA NP, said: "These agreements pave the way to accelerate the design, licensing and fabrication work. Our teams and experts from engineering and manufacturing are fully mobilized and very excited about this project. We are looking forward to the introduction of lead test assemblies of this promising technology. I am very proud to see an international team, both from Europe and the United States, fully integrated and working together with the team of our Lightbridge partner."

On Sept. 6, 2017, Lightbridge and AREVA Inc. (AREVA NP in North America) announced a binding Heads of Terms Agreement, which will form the basis of the Joint Venture Operating Agreement. That final agreement is expected to be signed in the fourth quarter of 2017 and will establish the joint venture.

Since 2011, Lightbridge has received valuable feedback on its fuel technology development through its Nuclear Utility Fuel Advisory Board, comprised of four leading U.S. nuclear utilities. Lightbridge also signed a letter of intent with a U.S. nuclear utility to demonstrate its fuel at a commercial nuclear power plant.

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