Radiological Training for Tritium Facilities
D. Physical Properties
Tritium gas is lighter than air and
diffuses rapidly in air.
Tritium gas permeates through most
materials, that is, it travels through them
by way of spaces or interstices in them.
The rate depends upon the material and
its thickness. Tritium's radioactive,
chemically reducing and diffusive
properties result in degradation of many
useful polymeric materials, pump oils,
plastics, and o-rings. This can cause loss
of mechanical functions in certain
situations within a short period of time.
H decays to 3 He + β -- + υ
Radioactive Decay of Tritium
He = Helium
υ = anti - neutrino
β - = beta minus
Tritium "decays" by emitting a beta particle
and becoming an atom of helium.