Preliminary results from a detritiation facility dedicated to soft housekeeping waste and tritium valorization

Karine Liger, Pierre Trabuc, Jérémy Mascarade, Michèle Troulay, Christophe Perrais, Silvano Tosti, Fabio Borgognoni

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Nuclear waste management has to be taken into account for fusion machine using tritium as fuel. Soft housekeeping waste (e.g. gloves, tissues, protective clothes, etc.) is produced during the whole life as well as during the dismantling of the reactor and is contaminated by tritium under reduced (HT) and oxidized (HTO) forms. In collaboration with ENEA, a lab-scaled facility has been built at CEA Cadarache for soft housekeeping waste detritiation and tritium valorization. The previously milled waste is placed in a reactor to be heated up to a temperature lower than the housekeeping melting point. A carrier gas is then injected in the detritiation reactor to remove tritium, thanks to the combined effects of temperature and carrier gas (type and feed flow). The tritiated gas exhausted from the detritiation reactor is then sent through a catalytic Pd-Ag membrane reactor (CMR) where tritium is recovered via isotopic exchange reaction and permeation phenomenon. Based on previous studies that have allowed defining the most efficient operating conditions for the detritiation process, this work presents the results obtained by the coupling of the detritiation facility with the CMR. Due to safety considerations, restrictions on the nature of the carrier gas were applied, rejecting air as the carrier gas even though air was the best candidate for the detritiation part of the process. The performance of the whole system was estimated by means of a parametric study on the influence of flow rates in the CMR and transmembrane pressure. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2103 - 2107
Number of pages5
JournalFusion Engineering and Design
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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