HANOI, Vietnam, Aug. 14, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lightbridge Corporation (Nasdaq:LTBR), a leading innovator of next generation nuclear fuel designs and provider of nuclear energy consulting services to commercial and governmental organizations, today announced that the Company and the Vietnam Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety (VARANS) have signed a memorandum of understanding that calls for both parties to collaborate in the continued development of administrative, legal and regulatory infrastructure to support Vietnam's civil nuclear energy program. Lightbridge is the first U.S. company to work with VARANS on Vietnam's nuclear energy program. The parties agreed to the work by Lightbridge after a recent Asia commercial diplomacy trip led by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.
"This understanding recognizes Lightbridge's global expertise in developing effective support infrastructure for non-proliferative, commercial nuclear energy programs and is another important step in Vietnam's drive to deliver clean, safe, affordable nuclear energy to support the nation's economic growth," said Seth Grae, Lightbridge President and Chief Executive Officer.
Commercial nuclear energy opportunities in Vietnam are estimated at $10 billion and are expected to grow to $50 billion by 2030, according to U.S. Department of Commerce estimates. The second largest nuclear power market in Southeast Asia after China, Vietnam has declared its intention to supply more than 10% of national power demand from nuclear by 2030. Vietnam currently generates 32 GWe of electricity from hydro, coal and natural gas power plants. Plans call for construction of four nuclear reactors at two sites beginning later in this decade to generate approximately 4 GWe of electricity, according to the most current data compiled by the World Nuclear Association.
Mr. Grae said the understanding provides a framework for Lightbridge's advisory service team to support VARANS under specific tasks as VARANS seeks to implement best practices in nuclear regulation, licensing, inspection, and education and training activities. Lightbridge has generated more than $52 million in advisory services revenue since 2008.
As CEO of a leading nuclear energy consulting company, Mr. Grae was part of a Civil Nuclear Trade Policy Mission to Vietnam and China in May 2013 that was organized by the U. S. Department of Commerce'sInternational Trade Administration. He is also a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce Civil Nuclear Trade Advisory Committee (CINTAC). The Committee advises the Secretary of Commerce on how to expand U.S. civil nuclear exports and strengthen the industry's competitiveness. Mr. Grae was first named to the CINTAC in 2010.
About Lightbridge Corporation
Lightbridge is a U.S. nuclear energy company that is developing patent-protected, proliferation resistant, next generation nuclear fuel technologies for current and future nuclear reactor systems. The Company also provides comprehensive advisory services in several countries around the world for established and emerging nuclear programs based on a philosophy of transparency, non-proliferation, safety and operational excellence. Lightbridge's breakthrough fuel technology is establishing new global standards for safe and clean nuclear power and leading the way to a sustainable, carbon-free energy future. Lightbridge consultants provide integrated strategic advice and expertise across a range of disciplines including regulatory affairs, nuclear reactor procurement and deployment, reactor and fuel technology and international relations. The Company leverages those broad and integrated capabilities by offering its services to commercial entities and governments with a need to establish or expand nuclear industry capabilities and infrastructure.
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Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains statements that are forward-looking in nature, including statements regarding the Company's competitive position and product and service offerings. These statements are based on current expectations on the date of this news release and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, which may cause actual results to differ significantly from such estimates. The risks include, but are not limited to, the degree of market adoption of the Company's product and service offerings; market competition; dependence on strategic partners; and the Company's ability to manage its business effectively in a rapidly evolving market. Certain of these and other risks are set forth in more detail in Lightbridge's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Lightbridge does not assume any obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements, whether as the result of new developments or otherwise.
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