US-based Lightbridge Corporation and France’s Areva NP have signed three binding agreements that allow the companies to immediately advance the development of Lightbridge's innovative metallic fuel technology and protect all associated intellectual property while they finalise their joint venture.  

The three agreements include a Research and Development Services Agreement, a Co-Ownership Agreement and an Intellectual Property Annex. They form an integral part of the contemplated joint venture that is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2018. 

In September, Lightbridge and Areva announced a binding Heads of Terms Agreement, which forms the basis of the Joint Venture Operating Agreement. The agreement is expected to be signed in 2017 and will establish the joint venture.