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Bulk Contamination Modeling
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Design Considerations - index
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Temperature Considerations


DOE-HDBK-1132-99
available tritium begins to dissolve into the actual surface of the bulk material.
As the local saturation sites in the actual surface of the bulk material begin to
fill, the tritium dissolved in the surface begins to diffuse into the body of the
bulk material; at that point, the behavior of the tritium in the body of the bulk
material becomes totally dependent on the material in question.
Materials Compatibility Issues. Elemental hydrogen, regardless of its form
(H2, D2, T2, and all combinations thereof), can be expected to dissolve to some
extent in virtually all materials. For simple solubility reactions, such as
v
2H@Material ,
H2 + Material
(4a)
Hy + Material v xHy@Material ,
x
(4b)
v
3
3
H + Material
H @Material ,
and
(4c)
1
1
basic compatibility issues should be considered. As a general rule, the
solubility of tritium in pure metals and/or ceramics should have a minimal effect,
at normal room temperatures and pressures, except for the possibility of
hydrogen embrittlement. For alloyed metals, such as stainless steel, similar
considerations apply, again, at normal room temperatures and pressures. For
alloyed metals, however, additional consideration must be given to the possible
leaching of impurities from the alloyed metal, even at normal room
temperatures and pressures. [In LP-50 containment vessels, for example, the
formation of relatively large amounts of tritiated methane (i.e., up to
0.75 percent mole percent of CT4) has been noted after containers of high-
purity tritium have been left undisturbed for several years. The formation of the
tritiated methane, in this case, has long been attributed to the leaching of
carbon from the body of the stainless steel containment vessel.]
Pressure Considerations . Under increased pressures (e.g., from a few tens
to several hundred atmospheres), however, the general rules no longer apply
for, in addition to the possibility of hydrogen embrittlement and possible
leaching effects, helium embrittlement is also possible. Helium embrittlement
I-102


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