IRVINE, Calif.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Kurion, Inc., an innovator in nuclear and hazardous waste management, announced a breakthrough in the treatment of the historically difficult to capture isotope with the introduction of its patent-pending Modular Detritiation System™ (MDS™) to decontaminate tritiated water. The ability to perform light water detritiation (i.e., the removal of tritium from water) enables the safe release of purified water into the environment or recycling of reactor cooling water. The technology has applications for light water reactors, which are the dominant nuclear plant designs worldwide.
“Historically, nuclear power plants were forced to release tritium into the environment because there was no method to remove it economically. Kurion’s new detritiation system now offers a technology-based alternative with the benefit of addressing the public’s concern over environmental release.”
The decontamination of tritium (T) is particularly problematic: it is a special form of hydrogen that forms tritiated water (HTO vs. H2O), which does not lend itself to removal by conventional technologies. This is because instead of the contaminant being carried along in water in suspended or dissolved form, the water molecule itself is modified. As a result, tritiated water is particularly difficult to treat and can spread easily if it escapes into the environment.
“Preventing the release of tritium into the environment represents one of the last remaining environmental challenges for nuclear energy,” said Bill Gallo, chief executive officer of Kurion. “The key value of Kurion’s patent-pending detritiation technology is that it offers an economical alternative to releasing tritium into the environment and bolsters the appeal of nuclear power as a clean, safe energy source.”
John Raymont, Kurion founder and president of international operations, added, “Historically, nuclear power plants were forced to release tritium into the environment because there was no method to remove it economically. Kurion’s new detritiation system now offers a technology-based alternative with the benefit of addressing the public’s concern over environmental release.”
The industrial process of removing tritium from water has historically focused on cleaning highly contaminated “heavy water” for recycling back into nuclear reactors, such as for the CANDU design. However, this technology is prohibitively expensive for use with light water reactors. The Kurion MDS™ builds upon proven heavy water solutions and makes advances in throughput and efficiency where the tritium removal occurs. Kurion has developed an economical solution that – for the first time – would allow for recycling or clean release of reactor cooling water for light pressurized water reactors.
KURION PROVIDES INNOVATIVE, EASILY DEPLOYABLE TECHNOLOGIES TO ACCELERATE PROJECT PERFORMANCE AND COMPLIANCE AND SUBSTANTIALLY REDUCE CUSTOMER RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT LIFE-CYCLE COSTS. FOUNDED IN 2008, KURION IS BACKED BY LEADING ENERGY INVESTORS LUX CAPITAL, FIRELAKE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT AND ACADIA WOODS PARTNERS. HEADQUARTERED IN IRVINE, CALIF., KURION OPERATES A TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT CENTER AT ITS RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS LICENSED FACILITY IN OAK RIDGE, TENN., AND TWO FACILITIES IN RICHLAND, WASH. FOR NON-RADIOACTIVE DEMONSTRATION TESTING, ENGINEERING AND STORAGE OF MOBILE SYSTEMS. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT WWW.KURION.COM.