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Experimental study of the tritium distribution in the effluents resulting from the sodium hydrolysis

Abstract : Within the framework of the dismantling of fast breeder reactors in France (PHENIX, SUPERPHENIX, RAPSODIE), several processes are under investigation regarding sodium disposal. One of them, called ELA (radioactive sodium waste treatment process), is based on the implementation of the sodium-water reaction, in a controlled and progressive way, to remove residual sodium mainly from the sodium purification systems called cold traps. This sodium contains impurities such as sodium hydride, sodium oxide and tritiated sodium hydride. The hydrolysis of these various chemical species leads to the production of a liquid effluent, mainly composed of an aqueous solution of sodium hydroxide, and a gaseous effluent, mainly composed of nitrogen (inert gas), hydrogen and steam. The tritium is distributed between these effluents, and, within the gaseous effluent, according to its forms HT and HTO. HTO being 10,000 times more radiotoxic than HT, a precise knowledge of the mechanisms governing the phase distribution of tritium is necessary. Indeed, it will help to design the process needed to optimize the treatment of the off-gas before its release into the environment. This paper presents the first experimental results from a parametric study on the tritium distribution between the various effluents generated during hydrolysis operations. This parametric study has been performed in a laboratory scale hydrolysis process designed at the CEA Cadarache.
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Aurélien Chassery, Helene Lorcet, Joel Godlewski, Karine Liger, Christian Latgé, et al.. Experimental study of the tritium distribution in the effluents resulting from the sodium hydrolysis. Fusion Science and Technology, Taylor & Francis, 2015, Tenth International Conference on Tritium Science and Technology, 67 (2), pp.300-303. ⟨10.13182/FST14-T15⟩. ⟨hal-02134790⟩

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