Research conducted in the last fifty years has shown that one of the most efficient techniques of removing tritium from the heavy water used as moderator and coolant in CANDU reactors (as that operated at Cernavoda, Romania) is hydrogen cryogenic distillation.

Designing and implementing the concept of cryogenic distillation columns require experiments to be conducted as well as computer simulations. Particularly, computer simulations are of great importance when designing and evaluating the performances of a column or a series of columns. Experimental data collected from laboratory work will be used as input for computer simulations run at larger scale (for The Pilot Plant for Tritium and Deuterium Separation) in order to increase the confidence in the simulated results.

Studies carried out were focused on the following:

- Quantitative analyses of important parameters such as the number of theoretical plates, inlet area, reflux flow, flow-rates extraction, working pressure, etc.

- Columns connected in series in such a way to fulfil the separation requirements.

Experiments were carried out on a laboratory-scale installation to investigate the performance of contact elements with continuous packing. The packing was manufactured in our institute.