Nuclear fuel technology company Lightbridge Corporation said this week it had successfully completed work under the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) voucher program.
The program was designed to support the development of Lightbridge Fuel, in collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Working in collaboration with PNNL, the project scope was to demonstrate Lightbridge’s nuclear fuel casting process using depleted uranium, a key step in manufacturing Lightbridge Fuel. Several castings were performed throughout the project, and the cast ingots were analyzed. In an iterative process, the casting methodology was modified based on the characterization results as part of the process was a demonstration to achieve acceptable results with PNNL’s existing equipment. The results of this work will help Lightbridge determine a final process suitable to produce fuel material coupons for our upcoming irradiation tests in the Advanced Test Reactor.
Ali Zbibi, PNNL nuclear industry program manager, called the project, “an excellent opportunity to use national laboratory resources and expertise on these fuel development efforts for light water reactors.”
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