Lightbridge Stock Moves Skyward on Nuclear Fuel Design Patent

Nuclear fuel technology company Lightbridge Corp. (NASDAQ:LTBR) said on Monday that it has received a notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a patent related to its metallic nuclear fuel assembly design.

The patent extends Lightbridge's global patent estate protecting IP underscoring technology that improves the economics, performance and safety of nuclear power plants.

The latest patent envelopes a complete metallic fuel assembly design for Western-type pressurized water reactors, the basis for the majority of reactors in operation globally and further allows for the Reston, Virginia-based company's designs to be modified for virtually any power reactor on the planet.

The patent follows others awarded in China, South Korea and the E.U. in the past year and comes as Lightbridge is working with fellow nuclear fuel company Framatome on a joint venture to develop and commercialize metallic fuel for nuclear plants worldwide.

With the construction of more than 150 of nuclear plants planned around the world, the nuclear power industry is betting on the fact that innovation will overcome economic and safety hurdles in the near future.

Lightbridge believes it has an answer to the industry conundrum with its novel fuel rods that it has been developing for over two decades that, amongst other advantages, allow nuclear reactions at about one-quarter of the temperature of traditional reactor rods.

The rods transfer heat more easily via a different metal composition than conventional methods and a new design that increases the amount of water flowing across the rod's surface, which itself is larger than traditional uranium pellet-filled tubes.

The markets cheered the news and reminder that a better technology could be coming towards commercialization, sending shares of LBTR up 57.8% in Monday trading to $2.32. At one point, shares printed as high as $3.33, a gain of 126.5% from Friday's close at $1.47.