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ITER Relevant Testing of a Cryogenic Distillation Column System

D.G. Bellamy (1-416-207-6378), J.R. Robins (1-416-207-6083), K.B. Woodall (1-416-207-6835), S.K. Sood (1-416-592-5501), P. Gierszewski (1-905-823-4717)

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 28 / Number 3P1 / October 1995 / Pages 525-529


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A new experimental system has been constructed to test ITER relevant distillation columns and related cryogenic distillation (CD) hardware and control systems. These columns are used to purify tritium in the ITER fuel cycle. The ITER test column reported here has a diameter of about 30 mm and a packed length of approximately 150 cm. It can operate with a hydrogen isotope (Q2) boilup of about 60 watts. Two 30 W refrigeration systems were coupled together to deliver as close as possible to 60 watts of cooling. The separation performance of the column was determined by accurately measuring the tritium concentration in the feed and product streams using a mixture of D2 and DT gas. Conditions which yield a column theoretical plate height as low as 2.05 cm. and a plate inventory of 0.118 moles are reported. The goal of this research program is to measure the performance of ITER relevant columns, packings, condensers, and reboilers in order to minimize hydrogen (Q2) and tritium holdup and to show that ITER objectives can be met with smaller diameter and lower tritium inventory columns than have previously been considered.

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