Romanian Tritium for Nuclear Fusion

Pearson, Richard J; Comsa, Olivia; Stefan, Liviu and Nuttall, William J (2017). Romanian Tritium for Nuclear Fusion. Fusion Science and Technology, 71(4) pp. 610–615.




The demand for tritium is expected to increase when ITER (the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) begins operation in the mid-2020s. Romania is expected to detritiate its CANDU (Canada Deuterium Uranium) units at Cernavoda starting 2024, with the goal of improving radiological safety and reactor performance. Detritiation will result in a significant quantity of tritium being produced and thus Romania has an opportunity to supply tritium for fusion. In this assessment, ITER has been used as a reference device requiring tritium, as the projected tritium extraction schedule from Cernavoda aligns favourably with ITER operation. The findings suggest that Romania is capable of providing a total of 6.2 kg of tritium to ITER over its 20 year operation, generating a potential revenue of $186 M (USD). Opportunities associated with the supply of Romanian helium-3 are also considered as a hedging option, which has the potential to generate $120 M (USD) in the case of zero tritium sales. Greater involvement in future fission-fusion tritium-related activities through experience in tritium technologies is also discussed as a unique opportunity for Romania.

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