Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 54 / Number 1 / July 2008 / Pages 81-84
Technical Paper / Storage
For ten years French Tritium laboratories have been using metal hydride storage beds with LaNi4Mn for process gas (HDT mixture) absorption, desorption and for both short and long term storage. This material has been chosen because of its low equilibrium pressure and of its ability to retain decay helium 3 in its lattice. Aging effects on the thermodynamic behavior of LaNi4Mn have been investigated. Aging, due to formation of helium 3 in the lattice, decreases the desorption isotherm plateau pressure and shifts the phase to the higher stoichiometries. Life time of the two kinds of tritium (and isotopes) storage vessels managed in the laboratory depends on these aging changes. The Tritium Long Term Storage (namely STLT) and the hydride storage vessel (namely FSH 400) are based on LaNi4Mn even though they are not used for the same applications. STLT contains LaNi4Mn in an aluminum vessel and is designed for long term pure tritium storage. The FSH 400 is composed of LaNi4Mn included within a stainless steel container. This design is aimed at storing low tritium content mixtures (less than 3% of tritium) and for supplying processes with HDT gas. Life time of the STLT can reach 12 years. Life time of the FSH 400 varies from 1.2 years to more than 25 years depending on the application.