IBC Advanced Alloys Update on Beryllium Oxide Nuclear Fuels R&D
December 5, 2012 (Source: Marketwire) — IBC Advanced Alloys Corp. (TSX VENTURE:IB)(OTCQX:IAALD) (“IBC” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide an update on the Company’s enhanced beryllium oxide (BeO) nuclear fuel R&D program, currently being conducted at Purdue University, Texas A&M University and MIT. The Company’s mandate is to sponsor advanced materials research which will increase demand and new market opportunities for beryllium and beryllium oxide as well as make significant safety and commercial improvements to the nuclear power industry.
IBC its R&D partners have had a productive and promising 2012, reaching a number of important milestones as well as earning some prestigious honours. Highlights of the year include:
- Established an R&D partnership IBC with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”) to predict and analyze the performance of the patented BeO nuclear fuel;
- Jim Malone, IBC’s Vice President of Nuclear Fuel, was appointed as Chair of the World Nuclear Associations Fuel Technology Working Group;
- Received Significant Contribution Award from the American Nuclear Society for introducing a High Thermal Conductivity UO2-BeO Nuclear Fuel Concept;
- Demonstrated how IBC’s BeO enhanced fuel, combined with CTP’s silicon carbide (SiC) cladding, could result in significant temperature reduction and better fuel stability leading to a safer and more accident tolerant fuel;
- The Texas A&M initiative, led by Dr. Sean McDeavitt, met a key and critical success metric by demonstrating the ability to produce high quality UO2-BeO pellets. This milestone is fundamental to the program’s ultimate success and will lead to scaled production of pellets for irradiation testing;
- The Texas A&M team is optimizing pellet production and testing variables such as powder size, purity and composition as well as sintering temperature, time and atmosphere prior to the industrial irradiation cycle;
- The Texas A&M team has evaluated the BeO impact on reactor core physics under normal operating conditions for a Generation-III Pressurized Water Reactor. Comparisons with standard UO2 fuel reveal that the BeO-enhanced fuel possesses the same characteristics as standard commercial fuel (similar reactivity coefficients, slightly longer cycle lengths) while reaching higher burnup rates.
- The Company has entered into discussions with a number of North American, European and Asian industry partners to explore and discuss the irradiation requirements of the fuel development program.
IBC’s research focuses on the structure and composition of beryllium oxide enhanced nuclear fuel as well as new protective cladding technologies, primarily silicon carbide, to improve fuel performance including longer life, more stability and better thermal conductivity. IBC sponsors R&D at Purdue University, Texas A&M University, and has partnered with Global Nuclear Fuels (GNF) to conduct multi-oxide fuel testing. IBC is also partnered with Ceramic Tubular Products, LLC (“CTP”) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (“MIT”) to develop and analyze a silicon carbide (SiC) based ceramic composite cladding which will complement the BeO nuclear fuel.
“IBC is working with the best minds in the international nuclear fuel community to develop what we believe will be a game changer for the nuclear energy industry in the 21st century,” said IBC’s VP of Nuclear Fuels, Jim Malone. “The research could pave the way for a beryllium oxide enhanced nuclear fuel with better safety margins as well as improved economics for reactor operators and electric utility companies. Our initial research,” continued Malone, “Has been very encouraging and we are looking forward to expanding the program with both our academic and industry partners to move through additional testing cycles and hopefully to eventual commercialization.”
“We continue to be very excited by the potential and possibilities of a BeO enhanced nuclear fuel and remain committed to our R&D efforts and partners,” said Anthony Dutton, President and CEO of IBC Advanced Alloys. “Energy analysts and industry experts remain in agreement that nuclear power will be an increasingly important component of our future energy needs,” continued Dutton, “and the technologies that contribute to improvements in safety will be actively supported. We have seen our work validated and endorsed by a number of important industry experts and we look forward to continuing to contribute to safer and economically stronger nuclear fuel industry.”
About IBC Advanced Alloys Corp.
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IBC is an integrated manufacturer and distributor of rare metals (beryllium) based alloys and related products serving a variety of sectors including aerospace, automotive, telecommunications and a range of industrial applications. IBC has 86 employees and production facilities in Indiana, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Missouri. IBC is creating a dynamic global advanced alloys company. IBC’s common shares are traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “IB” and the OTCQX under the symbol “IAALD”.
This disclosure contains certain forward-looking statements that involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond the Company’s control including: the impact of general economic conditions in the areas in which the Company operates, industry conditions, changes in laws and regulations including the adoption of new environmental laws and regulations and changes in how they are interpreted and enforced, increased competition, the lack of availability of qualified personnel or management, limited availability of raw materials, fluctuations in commodity prices, foreign exchange or interest rates, stock market volatility and obtaining required approvals of regulatory authorities. In addition there are risks and uncertainties associated with manufacturing activities therefore the Company’s future results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements. All statements included in this press release that address activities, events or developments that the Company expects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on assumptions made by the Company based on its experience, perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors it believes are appropriate in the circumstances.
This news release was prepared by management of IBC, which takes full responsibility for its contents. The TSX Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy of this news release. Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
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