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Design and Operational Experience with a Pilot-Scale CECE Detritiation Process

J.M. Miller, W.R.C. Graham, S.L. Celovsky, J.R.R. Tremblay, A.E. Everatt

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 41 / Number 3P2 / May 2002 / Pages 1077-1081

Isotope Separation / Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Tritium Science and Technology Tsukuba, Japan November 12-16, 2001

A 5 Mg/annum Combined Electrolysis Catalytic Exchange (CECE) Facility was designed, constructed and operated to demonstrate the CECE process for heavy water detritiation. In this demonstration facility, a liquid-phase catalytic exchange (LPCE) column, using AECL's wetproofed catalyst, separated tritium from deuterium and a specially designed, low-inventory electrolytic cell provided tritium-enriched deuterium to the LPCE column. An overhead recombiner, also using wetproofed catalyst, produced detritiated heavy water. Tritium was removed from the electrolysis cell as tritiated deuterium gas and packaged as a titanium deuteride. The design detritiation factor of 100 was readily achieved using a 370 GBq/kg heavy water feed. Design features, operational experience and results from the 4-month, 2 000-h operation are described.

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