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Home / Publications / Journals / Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 48 / Number 1

Self-Radiolysis of Tritiated Water: Experimental Study and Simulation

Sylver Heinze, Thibaut Stolz, Didier Ducret, Jean-Claude Colson

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 48 / Number 1 / July/August 2005 / Pages 673-679

Technical Paper / Tritium Science and Technology - Properties, Reactions, and Applications /

Radioactive decay of tritium contained in tritiated water leads to the production of gaseous helium and, through self-radiolysis, to the formation of molecular hydrogen and oxygen. For safety management of tritiated water storage, it is essential to be able to predict pressure increase resulting from this phenomenon. The present study aims to identify the mechanisms that take place in self-radiolysis of chemically pure liquid tritiated water. The evolution of the concentration of hydrogen and oxygen in the gas phase of closed vessels containing tritiated water has been followed experimentally. Simulation of pure water radiolysis has been carried out using data from the literature. In order to fit experimental results, simulation should take into account gas phase recombination reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. A simplified system has been extracted from the complete chemical system used to simulate radiolysis. This system allows identifying the basic mechanisms that are responsible for tritiated water self-radiolysis.

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