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The use of tritium, the heaviest of the three Hydrogen isotopes, as fuel material in a thermonuclear fusion reactor raises particular safety issues due to the combined effects of its physical and chemical characteristics and its radioactive nature. The basic data of these features are outlined and the mechanisms and pathways determining its radiological impact on man are illustrated. The concept of multiple containment is discussed; this provides the necessary protection for the operating staff and for the general public against tritium exposure, by ensuring that Derived Air Concentrations (DAC) in the facilities areas remain below the allowable limit and prevent unnecessary releases to the environment. The static and dynamic barriers applied for realising such multiple containment systems are described. The loss mechanisms of tritium through these barriers are analysed in relation to the operational requirements and constraints of the systems containing the main tritium sources in a fusion reactor. Possible ways for minimising the source term and the losses are reviewed.

Additional information

Authors: DWORSCHAK H, JRC Ispra (VA) (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: Tritium and Advanced Fuels in Fusion Reactors, Varenna, (IT) Sept. 6-15, 1989
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 34953 ORA
Record Number: 198911225 / Last updated on: 1994-12-01
Original language: en
Available languages: en