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Tritium Emissions from a Detritiation Facility

L. Rodrigo, O. El-Behairy, H. Boniface, C. Hotrum, K. McCrimmon

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 60 / Number 4 / November 2011 / Pages 1268-1271

Environmental and Organically Bound Tritium / Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Tritium Science and Technology (Part 2) /

Tritium is produced in heavy-water reactors through neutron capture by the deuterium atom. Annual production of tritium in a CANDU reactor is typically 52-74 TBq/MW(e). Some CANDU reactor operators have implemented detritiation technology to reduce both tritium emissions and dose to workers and the public from reactor operations. However, tritium removal facilities also have the potential to emit both elemental tritium and tritiated water vapor during operation. Authorized releases to the environment, in Canada, are governed by Derived Release Limits (DRLs). DRLs represent an estimate of a release that could result in a dose of 1 mSv to an exposed member of the public. For the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, the DRLs for airborne elemental tritium and tritiated water emissions are ~15.6 PBq/week and ~825 TBq/week respectively. The actual tritium emissions from Darlington Tritium Removal Facility (DTRF) are below 0.1% of the DRL for elemental tritium and below 0.2% of the DRL for tritiated water vapor. As part of an ongoing effort to further reduce tritium emissions from the DTRF, we have undertaken a review and assessment of the systems design, operating performance, and tritium control methods in effect at the DTRF on tritium emissions. This paper discusses the results of this study.

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