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2020 ANS Virtual Winter Meeting
November 16–19, 2020
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Fusion Science and Technology
U.S. reactor technologies to be featured at IAEA conference
A virtual side event at the 64th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency will spotlight U.S. reactor technologies. The free event, US Reactor Technologies: Flexible Energy Security for Real-World Challenges, will be held this Thursday, September 24, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. (EDT).
The event will highlight the capabilities of small modular reactors and other innovative reactors for addressing countries’ current needs. It will also examine anticipated challenges in the future, as well as underscore the need to act now.
The event is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy. Advanced registration is required.
P. J. Foster, Z. J. Trotter, S. A. Schaufler, J. L. Clark, J. E. Klein
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 76 | Number 3 | April 2020 | Pages 262-266
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2019.1705749
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
Savannah River Tritium Enterprise (SRTE) has used LaNi4.25Al0.75 (LANA75) hydride beds to store hydrogen isotopes for over two decades. A benefit of using LANA75 is that the 3He generated from tritium decay is retained in the hydride material, allowing the hydride beds to deliver high-purity product gas. A disadvantage is that the 3He accumulates in the LANA75 material over time, which forms a heel that cannot be removed under normal operating conditions. The heel traps hydrogen in the bed, slowly reducing the operational capacity of the bed as the heel grows. Eventually, the 3He begins to release from the material, preventing the delivery of high-purity product.
The hydride beds are replaced when (1) operational capacity is reduced such that it is impactive to routine operations and/or (2) product purity is not maintained due to 3He release. Prior to replacing and disposing of the beds, it is necessary to isotopically exchange the gas on the bed to recover as much tritium as possible. Isotopic exchange involves repeatedly absorbing deuterium onto the bed and desorbing hydrogen isotopes from the bed until a predetermined criterion has been met. The isotopic exchange process represents a significant additional load on routine operations both in time and in the amount of waste gas that requires further processing.
A set of beds was recently prepared for replacement. The isotopic exchange method used by SRTE is presented, along with results of the most recent isotopic exchange. Lessons learned during the recent isotopic exchange process led to modifications that reduce isotopic exchange duration and corresponding waste gas produced while increasing the amount of tritium recovered.