Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Research and Development Costs

Research and Development Costs
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2015
Research and Development Costs [Text Block]

Note 8. Research and Development Costs

Research and development costs, included in the accompanying consolidated statement of operations amounted to approximately $1.5 million and $1.5 million for each of the years ended December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively. We shut down our Moscow office operations as of January 1, 2015 and have since shifted our research and development work primarily to the United States, Canada, and Norway. There were no significant accrued liabilities related to the winding down of our Moscow office at December 31, 2015.

On October 20, 2014, we announced the signing of an initial cooperation agreement with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (“CNL”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, for fabrication and test reactor irradiation of Lightbridge’s patented next generation metallic nuclear fuel samples. Though we had initially planned for all of the work to take place at a single location in Chalk River, Ontario, Canada, subsequent to our announcement the Canadian government made an official decision to extend the operating life of the National Research Universal reactor at Chalk River only until the end of March 2018. This shorter than expected operating life extension would not be able to accommodate all of our entire anticipated schedule for irradiation testing of our metallic fuel samples. Consequently, our plan is to work with CNL on fabrication of our fuel samples at their Chalk River facilities, with full irradiation of the fabricated fuel samples to be performed separately in a pressurized water loop of the Halden Research Reactor located in Halden, Norway. The operating license of the Halden Research Reactor has recently been renewed through 2020 which fits well with our anticipated irradiation testing schedule. Our current plan is to have post-irradiation examination of the irradiated fuel samples performed on the same site in Norway and nearby hot cell facilities located in Studsvik, Sweden that are operated by the Swedish company Studsvik AB.

On September 9, 2015, we signed a Comprehensive Nuclear Services Agreement with CNL for fabrication of our patented next generation metallic nuclear fuel test samples at CNL facilities at Chalk River, Ontario, Canada. This enabling agreement provides the framework to proceed with Phases 2 and 3 of the test fuel sample fabrication at CNL’s facilities in Chalk River as envisioned in an October 2014 Initial Cooperation Agreement. The initial scope of work under the comprehensive nuclear services agreement involves development of a fabrication plan in the first half of 2016.

On January 12, 2016, we announced entry into an initial services agreement with BWXT Nuclear Energy, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of BWX Technologies, Inc., to evaluate the ability to fabricate and prepare a preliminary plan for fabrication of Lightbridge-designed partial length nuclear fuel samples at BWXT facilities in the United States. This arrangement can provide us with an alternative vendor and site to CNL for fabrication of our patented next generation metallic nuclear fuel test for irradiation testing at the Halden Research Reactor.

On July 8, 2015, we announced the signing of an Umbrella Services Agreement with the Institute for Energy Technology (“IFE”) of Norway for irradiation testing of Lightbridge advanced metallic nuclear fuel samples under prototypic commercial reactor operating conditions in IFE's Halden Research Reactor, southeast of Oslo. The project's pre-irradiation scope includes irradiation-rig mechanical design, detailed neutronic and thermal-hydraulic calculations, and safety analyses with necessary regulatory approvals. The initial phase of irradiation testing is expected to begin in 2017 and continue for about three years to reach the burnup necessary for insertion of lead test assemblies (LTAs) in a commercial power reactor. The final phase of irradiation testing necessary for batch reloads and full cores operating with a 10% power uprate and a 24 -month cycle is expected to take an additional two years and be completed while LTAs have begun operating in the core of a commercial power reactor. The IFE umbrella services agreement is valid for 10 years.

We have consulting agreements with several consultants working on various projects for us, which total approximately $20,000 per month.