Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 48 / Number 1 / July/August 2005 / Pages 35-38
Technical Paper / Tritium Science and Technology - Tritium Processing, Transportation, and Storage
The superpermeability phenomenon was suggested to use in fusion machines to separate the fuel mixture from helium ashes, to arrange in-vessel fuel recirculation contours and effective evacuation of fuel mixture out of machine exhaust. To develop this technology and to simulate tritium recirculation in RFNC-VNIIEF at the "Prometheus" setup the experiments on superpermeation of hydrogen isotopes through metal membrane were realized.
The results of experiments on superpermeation of hydrogen isotopes through cylindrical niobium membrane are presented. As the experiment has shown, membrane pumping rate is inversely proportional to square root of isotope mass and amount to 2.5 l/cm2s for protium, 1.8 l/cm2s for deuterium and 1.5 l/cm2s for tritium. The possibility of effective pumping, separation of hydrogen isotopes from helium and residual gas, compression and recuperation of hydrogen isotopes by means of superpermeable membrane was demonstrated. It follows from results that the separation of D/T from He with employment of the techniques of superpermeable membranes might reduce the total amount of tritium in fuel cycle and substantially enhance the resource of cryogenic pumps evacuating helium.