Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 54 / Number 2 / August 2008 / Pages 399-402
Technical Paper / Isotope Separation
A thermal cycling absorption process (TCAP) for hydrogen isotope separation has been in operation at Savannah River Site since 1994. The process uses a hot/cold nitrogen system to cycle the temperature of the separation column. The hot/cold nitrogen system requires the use of large compressors, heat exchanges, valves and piping that is bulky and maintenance intensive. A new compact thermal cycling (CTC) design has recently been developed. This new design uses liquid nitrogen tubes and electric heaters to heat and cool the column directly so that the bulky hot/cold nitrogen system can be eliminated. This CTC design is simple and is easy to implement, and will be the next generation TCAP system at SRS. A twelve-meter column has been fabricated and installed in the laboratory to demonstrate its performance. The design of the system and its test results to date is discussed.