IBC Advanced Alloys Corp. (TSX VENTURE:IB) ("IBC" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has extended its collaborative research agreement (the "Agreement"), with Purdue University ("Purdue"), to December 31, 2010 in order to complete its current phase of research.
The Agreement is focused on an advanced beryllium oxide nuclear fuel that is more efficient and safer than current nuclear fuels. The objective of the research is to commercially develop an enhanced beryllium oxide nuclear fuel for both current and future nuclear power reactors.
The Company is also pleased to announce that it has been invited to present its beryllium oxide nuclear fuel research findings to-date at a meeting sponsored by the American Nuclear Society (ANS); the European Nuclear Society (ENS); the Atomic Energy Society of Japan (AESJ); and the Korean Nuclear Society (KNS) on September 28, 2010. This is the first presentation of this kind by IBC and will take place in Orlando, Florida at the 2010 Top Fuels Light Water Reactor Fuel Performance Meeting.
Current work by Purdue and Texas A&M nuclear engineers has shown that an advanced beryllium oxide (UO2 – BeO) nuclear fuel could potentially result in significant annual savings by lasting longer and burning more efficiently than conventional nuclear fuels. In addition to the cost savings, an advanced UO2 – BeO nuclear fuel could also contribute significantly to the operational safety of both current and future nuclear reactors due to its superior thermal conductivity. The improved thermal conductivity allows the fuel to operate at lower temperatures which implies less stored energy in the case of upset conditions.
"We are very pleased and encouraged with the results of our collaborative research to date and are honored to have been invited to present our findings at the prestigious TopFuel conference in Orlando," said Anthony Dutton, President and CEO of IBC. "We are committed to enhanced BeO fuels and believe they will be the foundation of a more efficient, economically sound and safer nuclear power industry. We are looking forward to presenting our findings," continued Mr. Dutton, "and to discussing our work with industry peers and potential future partners."
An enhanced thermal conductivity UO2 – BeO fuel would decrease maximum fuel temperatures and facilitate a reduction in pellet cladding interaction through lessening thermal stresses that result in fuel cracking, relocation and swelling. Additionally, fission gas release would be decreased allowing for higher fuel burn-up and reactor safety would be greatly improved with a faster thermal response and less stored energy in the fuel pins. By operating at a lower temperature fuel will theoretically last longer and burn up more of the fuel, which is very important from an economic point of view. In addition, lower temperatures also mean safer, more flexible reactor operation.