skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Tritium Laboratory Karlsruhe: administrative and technical framework for isotope laboratory operation

Abstract

Originally licensed in 1993 the Tritium Laboratory Karlsruhe (TLK) is a unique pilot scale isotope laboratory focused on tritium handling and processing to conduct a variety of scientific experiments and development tasks in view of future fusion power plants. TLK currently operates 15 glove boxes of 125 m{sup 3} total volume in an experimental hall measuring nearly 1500 m{sup 2}. The tritium infrastructure, comprising of the tritium storage system, the tritium transfer system and the isotope separation system, is integrated into TLK as a closed loop system to supply tritium to the experiments. Having a license for handling of up to 40 g of tritium and a closed tritium processing loop, TLK is a unique institute in non-military tritium research. In order to fulfil all requirements regarding the license, a framework of regulations is applied as a basis for the operation of TLK, as well as the setup of new experiments and the design of components. This paper will give an overview on the framework of operation in view of licensing issues, as well as administrative and technical regulations mandatory to legally and reliably operate an isotope laboratory of this scale.

Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology - KIT, Institute for Technical Physics, Tritium Laboratory Karlsruhe, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22429785
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Fusion Science and Technology; Journal Volume: 67; Journal Issue: 3; Conference: TRITIUM 2013: 10. International Conference on Tritium Science and Technology, Nice Acropolis (France), 21-25 Oct 2013; Other Information: Country of input: France; 7 refs.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
07 ISOTOPES AND RADIATION SOURCES; 70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; GLOVEBOXES; LICENSES; OPERATION; REGULATIONS; THERMONUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; TRITIUM

Citation Formats

Welte, S., Besserer, U., Osenberg, D., and Wendel, J. Tritium Laboratory Karlsruhe: administrative and technical framework for isotope laboratory operation. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.13182/FST14-T98.
Welte, S., Besserer, U., Osenberg, D., & Wendel, J. Tritium Laboratory Karlsruhe: administrative and technical framework for isotope laboratory operation. United States. doi:10.13182/FST14-T98.
Welte, S., Besserer, U., Osenberg, D., and Wendel, J. 2015. "Tritium Laboratory Karlsruhe: administrative and technical framework for isotope laboratory operation". United States. doi:10.13182/FST14-T98.
@article{osti_22429785,
title = {Tritium Laboratory Karlsruhe: administrative and technical framework for isotope laboratory operation},
author = {Welte, S. and Besserer, U. and Osenberg, D. and Wendel, J.},
abstractNote = {Originally licensed in 1993 the Tritium Laboratory Karlsruhe (TLK) is a unique pilot scale isotope laboratory focused on tritium handling and processing to conduct a variety of scientific experiments and development tasks in view of future fusion power plants. TLK currently operates 15 glove boxes of 125 m{sup 3} total volume in an experimental hall measuring nearly 1500 m{sup 2}. The tritium infrastructure, comprising of the tritium storage system, the tritium transfer system and the isotope separation system, is integrated into TLK as a closed loop system to supply tritium to the experiments. Having a license for handling of up to 40 g of tritium and a closed tritium processing loop, TLK is a unique institute in non-military tritium research. In order to fulfil all requirements regarding the license, a framework of regulations is applied as a basis for the operation of TLK, as well as the setup of new experiments and the design of components. This paper will give an overview on the framework of operation in view of licensing issues, as well as administrative and technical regulations mandatory to legally and reliably operate an isotope laboratory of this scale.},
doi = {10.13182/FST14-T98},
journal = {Fusion Science and Technology},
number = 3,
volume = 67,
place = {United States},
year = 2015,
month = 3
}
  • The Tritium Laboratory Karlsruhe (TLK) has been designed to handle relevant amounts of tritium for the development of tritium technology for fusion reactors. This paper describes the tritium technology development and experience gained during the upgrade of facilities, interventions, replacement of failed components and operation of the TLK since its commissioning with tritium in 1994. (authors)
  • During the commissioning of the PETRA facility, the PETRA PdAg permeator was characterized using hydrogen isotopes by determining the hydrogen curves for H{sub 2}, D{sub 2} and DT as well as He curves for various H{sub 2}/D{sub 2}/He gas mixtures at 300 and 400{degree}C. A method was developed to verify the mechanical integrity of the permeator during runs with the tritium. The H{sub 2} and D{sub 2} permeation losses into the isolation vacuum of the permeator were quantified. Hydrogen permeation into the isolation vacuum could be kept at levels low enough to permit an undisturbed continuous operation of the permeatormore » using a ZrCo tritium storage vessel. It was shown that the combination of the PETRA facility with a Normetex scroll pump, it is possible to extract at <320{degree}C >98% of the hydrogen isotopes from the ZrCo storage vessel with (a) negligible permeation losses, (b) without the danger of disproportionation of the intermetallic compound and (c) with the minimization of the tritium inventory in the facility. 5 refs., 13 figs., 1 tab.« less
  • The Tritium Laboratory Karlsruhe (TLK) was commissioned with tritium in 1994 and since then has continuously improved its infrastructure and has expanded its experimental activities. With a fully closed tritium cycle and the license to handle 40 g of tritium TLK is an almost unique experimental facility. More than 10 glove box systems with a total volume of about 125 m{sup 3} are operated to house experiments and infrastructure facilities on an area of more than 1000 m{sup 2}. Today TLK has about 23 g of tritium on site. The paper describes the closed tritium loop of the TLK infrastructuremore » and its links to different experiments. Some experience gained during operation of TLK is also presented.« less
  • After 8 years of operation at the CAPER facility at the Tritium Laboratory Karlsruhe, a permeator used to separate hydrogen species from processed gases ceased operation due to multiple heater failures. This was subjected to post service examination to find the cause of the failures. This paper describe the methods used to locate the failures in the heaters and the likely cause. It was also necessary to determine the tritium inventory embedded in the structure for safe disposal. Destructive examination, adapted from a full combustion technique, was used on sections of the permeator. A fine black powder deposit, presumed tomore » be mostly carbon, coated the surfaces of the inlet section of the feed side. This powder contained nearly half of the tritium within the permeator. The likely source of the powder and the consequences for the operation and eventual decommissioning of the ITER Tritium Plant are discussed. A failed turbomolecular pump from CAPER was also examined. There was evidence of wear on the emergency support bearing, but more importantly, when the pump internals were exposed to the glove box atmosphere (dry air) large quantities of tritium were rapidly released, this despite the isotopic swamping before removal from the CAPER glove box. Significant uptake of tritium in electrical insulation was also found. (authors)« less
  • This paper describes the tritium confinement concept and the tritium retention systems at TLK. A description of the AMOR facility for the regeneration of the HTO loaded molecular sieve beds and the operational experience gained from the regeneration of molecular sieve beds (up to 20 times each) is also presented. Finally tritium releases over this period to the environment will also be given. (authors)