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Tritium

Tritium

A History of Innovation

As CANDU® reactors age, tritium accumulates in the moderator and heat transport systems. Increased levels of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, can significantly contribute to personnel dose and emissions to the environment. To help utility companies reduce levels of tritium in their reactors, BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. (BWXT) has developed the innovative Tritium Separation Centre (TSC). A dedicated site specific TSC can also offer opportunities to significantly improve reactor capacity factors.

Tritium Separation Centre Overview

The TSC is a stand-alone facility, capable of being built anywhere on a CANDU® plant site. Tritiated heavy water is transferred from the power station to the TSC in batches for processing. After being separated from tritium, the heavy water is returned to the station for reuse. The tritium is then safely contained in a high-security underground vault.

Trit*Ex® - A Novel Solution

At the core of the BWXT TSC is the innovative technique of isotope separation involves a unique combination of gaseous diffusion followed by thermal diffusion. This leading-edge diffusion technology incorporates advances in membrane separation.


Features:

  • Separates and safely contains tritium from heavy water
  • Can be built anywhere on a CANDU® site and can be tailored for non-CANDU® sites
  • Helps utilities meet As Low As Reasonably Acceptable (ALARA) commitments

Benefits:

  • Simpler, safer, more cost effective than conventional separa-tion methods
  • Reduces personnel dose and emissions to the environment
  • Reduces risk associated with transporting tritiated water off-site to a third party facility
  • Offers opportunity to improve CANDU® station capacity factors.

*CANDU® is a trademark of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.