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
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.