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Home / Publications / Journals / Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 54 / Number 1 / Pages 231-234

A Method to Quantify Tritium Inside Waste Drums: 3He Ingrowth Method

Alain Godot, Célia Lepeytre, Jean-Charles Hubinois, Aurélien Arseguel, Jean-Pierre Daclin, Christophe Douche

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 54 / Number 1 / July 2008 / Pages 231-234

Technical Paper / Waste Handling

This method enables an indirect, non intrusive and non destructive measurement of the Tritium activity in wastes drums. The amount of tritium enclosed inside a wastes drum can be determined by the measurement of the leak rate of 3He of this latter.

The simulation predicts that a few months are necessary for establishing the equilibrium between the 3He production inside the drum and the 3He drum leak.

In practice, after one year of storage, sampling 3He outside the drum can be realized by the mean of a confining chamber that collect the 3He outflow.

The apparatus, the experimental procedure and the calculation of tritium activity from mass spectrometric 3He measurements are detailed. The industrial device based on a confinement cell and the automated process to measure the 3He amount at the initial time and after the confinement time is described.

Firstly, reference drums containing a certified tritium activity (HTO) in addition to organic materials have been measured to qualify the method and to evaluate its performances.

Secondly, tritium activity of organic wastes drums issued from the storage building in Valduc have been determined.

Results of the qualification and optimised values of the experimental parameters are reported in order to determine the performances of this industrial device.

As a conclusion, the apparatus enables the measurement of an activity as low as 1 GBq of tritium in a 200 liters drum containing organic wastes.

 
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