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Cross-cutting support to improved knowledge on tritium management in fission and fusion facilities
Deadline: Oct 5, 2016  

 Waste Management
 International Cooperation
 Horizon Europe

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Tritium in the environment and its health impacts are a concern. Indeed, whilst discharges of most radionuclides from fission installations are decreasing, as a result of the use of new techniques of effluent decontamination, tritium discharges are increasing owing to new nuclear fuel management modes and the lack of detritiation capability. Discharges are also anticipated from fusion installations once they start operating as nuclear facilities. Further research is needed to assess and mitigate impacts of discharges and potentially to limit them.


This action should assess technologies to minimise tritium permeation at source and to capture and store tritium from treatment of metallic waste and liquid and gaseous effluents, e.g. using photo-synthesised polymers. This action should also include (i) an assessment of the tritium inventory in both fission and fusion systems using state-of-the-art modelling tools for tritium migration studies, e.g. from primary to secondary systems between which tritium may pass, (ii) refinement of the knowledge on outgassing and release mechanisms, radiotoxicity, radioecology, radiobiology, dosimetry and metrology of tritium, (iii) engineering solutions for detritiation techniques (metals, liquids and gasses) and waste management to meet the stringent regulations in force in the EU, and (iv) tritium permeation control (anti-permeation techniques). It is essential for proposals to demonstrate substantial benefit for both fission and fusion, to include actors from both communities, and to complement the existing research efforts in both domains. In line with the strategy for EU international cooperation in research and innovation (COM(2012)497), international cooperation will be considered during the evaluation.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from Euratom of between EUR 3 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Proposals for topics NFRP 13 and 14 will be ranked in a single ranking list.

Expected Impact:

This action will contribute to the solution of a number of key issues in the management of tritium in fission and fusion facilities that will satisfy regulatory requirements and thus minimise environmental and possible subsequent health effects. It will pave the way for robust science-based policy recommendations to decision makers in this area at EU level.

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