2018 Achievements

Enfission plans to produce commercial Lightbridge Fuel™ assemblies at Framatome fuel fabrication facilities. The Lightbridge Fuel™ fabrication process, while different from the manufacture of conventional oxide fuels (e.g., utilizing hot coextrusion), the processes themselves are well-understood and tested. Initial manufacturing efforts are focusing on process optimization to demonstrate safe, efficient, commercial-scale production.

  • Started procurement of materials for tests
  • Began preparing for NRC meeting to discuss fabrication and shipping activities in February 2019
  • Material characterization results presented by Lille University
  • Equipment specifications completed and ready to be sent to identified suppliers
  • CERCA R&D Laboratory modifications in France underway and equipment has been ordered
  • Began fabrication from samples to full scope process development until LTR (Lead Test Rods) fabrication is finalized
  • Equipment procurement process initiated
  • Documented process steps, material flows and equipment for fabrication
  • Selected fabrication route
  • Developed coextrusion model with our partner Transvalor and initial testing has been completed.
  • Review of CHF benchmarks finalized
  • Finalized thorough literature studies of material properties of UZr alloys
  • Completed 4-lobe fuel rodlet specification
  • Progressed the Licensing plan for Lead Tests Rods
  • Successfully completed initial modifications of APOLLO-2 neutronic code to model Lightbridge Fuel™ geometry
  • Initiated fabrication of samples to select the most optimal alloy forming process
  • Began process to identify fuel design limits in support of licensing activities
  • Evaluated and selected the most suitable Critical Heat Flux (CHF) heater rod design for CHF testing
  • Completed regulatory engagement plan for U.S. NRC interactions
  • Devised and evaluated lead test rod (LTR) design options
  • Assessed alternative options to Halden reactor (which has been closed) for irradiation testing
  • Completed and issued preliminary specifications and requests for quotation for scope on several fabrication-related tasks
  • Completed technical and commercial assessment for two suppliers in the fabrication area
  • Identified options to be evaluated for commercial-scale fabrication process optimization
  • Completed procedures for first test rig qualification and interim inspection equipment at IFE/Halden
  • Initiated preparation of NRC regulatory licensing plan and identification of criteria for Standard Review Plan
  • Launched Critical Heat Flux test program
  • Established project management structure to ensure effective project control and oversight

2018 Project Key Figures

Total R&D expenses: ~5M US$