IBC to explore opportunities with GNF-A and CTP to advance accident tolerant nuclear fuel technologies
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Oct. 31, 2013) - IBC Advanced Alloys Corp. (TSX VENTURE:IB)(OTCQX:IAALF) ("IBC" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (the "MOU") with Global Nuclear Fuel - Americas, LLC ("GNF-A") and Ceramic Tubular Products, LLC ("CTP") to explore opportunities to collaborate on nuclear fuel research. The MOU was signed following meetings at the recent American Nuclear Society's annual Top Fuels conference where IBC presented recent R&D developments on its beryllium oxide ("BeO") nuclear fuel focused on developing a safer and more accident tolerant nuclear fuel.
Under the terms of the agreement, the parties will enter into discussions regarding a potential joint collaborative effort to develop and analyze the benefits of increased cooperation and interaction regarding the development and commercialization of the advanced beryllium oxide-silicon carbide ("BeO-SiC") fuel technology. The parties have also agreed to explore available opportunities for government or industry partner funding for accident tolerant fuel R&D initiatives.
Based in Wilmington, N.C., GNF-A is a joint venture of General Electric, Hitachi Ltd. and Toshiba Corporation and is a leading fabricator and supplier of Boiling Water Reactors ("BWR") fuel and services. GNF-A strives to continually advance fuel technologies to meet the demands of today's power reactors and to support a strong nuclear industry. CTP, based in Rockville, MD is developing advanced silicon carbide nuclear fuel cladding which will improve both industry economics and safety. CTP has been awarded multiple grants, including one from the US Department of Energy, to further research, identify and evaluate complementary fuel forms, such as IBC's BeO enhanced fuel.
IBC recently reported that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ("MIT") completed a fuel performance study supporting IBC's BeO nuclear fuel technology combined with CTP's silicon carbide cladding. The MIT report validates how IBC's BeO enhanced fuel and CTP's SiC cladding could reduce fuel operating temperatures and improve fuel operating characteristics leading to a safer and more accident tolerant fuel. The report, along with other recent findings from Texas A&M and Purdue Universities, was presented at the Top Fuels conference.
"We are very pleased to have signed this MOU with IBC and CTP which could have significant fuel cycle benefits for plant operators," said Chet Akiri, COO of GNF-A. "The potential benefits of the improved thermal conductivity fuel, combined with CTP's cladding technology, include lower fuel operating temperatures that deliver the same energy to the reactor system. GNF is committed," continued Akiri, "to pursuing new technologies that will improve fuel performance and result in important benefits for our utility customers."
Herb Feinroth, CEO of Ceramic Tubular Products, echoed Akiri's sentiments and said, "The tests of CTP's TRIPLEX Silicon Carbide cladding have already shown the potential for hundreds of times lower heat release and hydrogen release during severe accidents as compared to the current metal cladding now used in commercial reactors. The combination of CTP's cladding technology with IBC's enhanced BeO fuel," continued Feinroth, "could mark a significant step in the development of more accident tolerant nuclear fuels and we look forward to working with IBC and GNF to advance this important initiative."
As a result of recent nuclear industry events, industry officials and governments are supporting alternative advanced fuel designs including increased R&D initiatives for more accident tolerant fuels. Because of this increasing industry awareness the parties to the agreement look forward to entering into discussions with a number of potential nuclear industry partners to explore and discuss the next phase of R&D including irradiation requirements and testing of the fuel in test reactors.
About IBC Advanced Alloys Corp.
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 83 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 "IAALF".
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.
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.