Title: Is tritium an issue for high temperature reactors?
Citation: NUCLEAR ENGINEERING AND DESIGN vol. 306 p. 160-169
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC102968
ISSN: 0029-5493
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC102968
DOI: 10.1016/j.nucengdes.2016.03.013
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: In a high temperature reactor, tritium is produced by a number of mechanisms. Due to its high mobility, some of this tritium ends up in the primary helium cooling circuit from where it can be extracted by the coolant purification system to keep the partial pressure of tritiated compounds low. The remaining partial pressure of tritium in the coolant is the driving force for permeation across the heat exchanger from the primary cooling system into the secondary cooling system. From there the contamination may further propagate and ultimately escape into the environment. This paper summarizes a study on the different tritium control options capable of meeting possible future safety requirements. Our results indicate that compliance with plausible tritium control requirements can indeed be achieved with reasonable effort both for electricity generation using a closed steam cycle and for process steam generation with an open steam cycle. However, for new-build HTR, definite country-specific licensing requirements (e.g. chronic and accidental tritium release) are yet to be determined and will shape the required tritium control strategy.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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