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Counter-Permeation of Deuterium and Hydrogen Through INCONEL 600®

Tetsuaki Takeda, Jin Iwatsuki

Nuclear Technology

Volume 146 / Number 1 / April 2004 / Pages 83-95


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Permeation of hydrogen isotopes through a high-temperature alloy used for heat exchanger and catalyst pipes is an important problem in the hydrogen production system connected to the High-Temperature Engineering Test Reactor (HTTR). The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of the existence of hydrogen in an outside pipe on the amount of permeated deuterium through the pipe. It was found that the amount of permeated deuterium decreases by increasing the partial pressure of hydrogen in the outside pipe when the partial pressure of deuterium in the pipe is lower than 100 Pa and that of hydrogen in the outside pipe is larger than 10 kPa. The amount of permeated deuterium on counter permeation was predicted quantitatively by using an effectiveness factor for diffusivity of deuterium in metals and by taking into account the equilibrium state for hydrogen, deuterium, and HD molecules on the metal surface. From the results obtained in this study, it is supposed that the amount of tritium transferred from the primary circuit of the HTTR to the hydrogen production system will be reduced by the existence of high-pressure hydrogen in the catalyst pipe of the steam reformer.

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