Since 1985, Westinghouse has been supplying specialized Immobilized Tritium Containers (ITC) for the safe storage of tritium from Tritium Removal Facilities. Working together with utilities and chemical laboratories, Westinghouse’s experts developed a solution for the rising tritium levels in CANDU® reactors. An ITC consists of an ASME BPVC VIII-1 Pressure Vessel filled with a getter bed material made from either depleted Uranium or our proprietary High Purity Titanium Sponge. Our ITC designs can immobilize 600,000 Ci of Tritium Gas.
Tritium Removal Facilities are used by CANDU® utilities to reduce tritium levels in their heavy water inventory, thus reducing hazards to station operations. Tritium is a radioactive isotope, which has a 12.3-year half-life and emits beta radiation. It is created through neutron activation of deuterium found in heavy water moderator and coolant in CANDU® reactors, thereby contributing significantly to operator dose exposure. The heavy water is treated in specialized Tritium Removal Facilities to remove the tritium from the water and then stored in ITCs for long term decay or commercial sale.
The Westinghouse Solution
In 2020, Westinghouse developed an in-house process to insource the manufacturing of high purity Titanium Sponge. We are now the sole supplier of high purity Titanium Sponge for nuclear applications, and the ITCs, including Titanium Sponge, can be entirely manufactured in our Peterborough Facility. The Titanium Sponge manufactured at our facilities meets precise customer specifications through a uniquely developed hydride process. Westinghouse’s processes allow for lot, batch and charge traceability.
Westinghouse’s contract with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is on-going for the delivery of 700 ITCs over five years. These will be used at Darlington’s Tritium Removal Facility. Our team now has the ability to supply ITCs or Titanium Sponge for other applications.