Oxidation of tritiated organic liquid waste

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Since a few years SCK•CEN has been focusing on the treatment of tritiated organic liquid waste. The experimental method that we are studying is a complete two-stage combustion with thermal and catalytic oxidation of the organic liquid into tritiated water for further treatment and tritium free off gases for discharge. Our first task concerned the treatment of about 200 liters of tritiated organic solvent, with a total activity of around 17 TBq. We were able to completely treat this solvent with only limited discharges to the environment. The second application of this technology was a study on the treatment of tritiated organic liquids from the Joint European Torus (JET). We started with cold tests using virgin and inactive oil and liquid scintillation cocktail. As a final step, batches of tritiated feedstock were treated to demonstrate the viability of the process and facility. We conclude that our technology is both technically feasible and safe and can be adapted for the treatment of various categories of problematic tritiated liquid waste, which will undoubtedly be produced in existing installations and in future fusion reactors.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-193
JournalFusion Science and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


  • oxidation, organic, tritium, tritiated waste, fusion, ITER, JET

ID: 365085