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Modeling the Behavior of Tritium
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Design Considerations - index
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Figure 2. Idealized surface showing idealized mono-molecular layers of water vapor


DOE-HDBK-1132-99
Table III. To this is added the consequences predicted by Le Chatelier'
s
Principle. From both, we get the fundamental relationship,
WH
2H2 + 2D2 + 2T2
+ HD + D2 + HT + DT + T2 .
(8)
2
In a terrestrial environment, virtually all of the tritium that exists in nature exists
as water or water vapor. Correcting this situation for the natural conversion to
water and/or water vapor, Equation (8) becomes
W  H O + HDO + D O + HTO + DTO + T O .
2H2O + 2D2O + 2T2O
(9)
2
2
2
It can also be assumed that the surfaces of all terrestrially bound objects are
coated with a series of mono-molecular layers of water vapor. In the final step,
it can be assumed that the innermost layers of water vapor are very tightly
bound to the actual surface, that the intermediate layers of water vapor are
relatively tightly to relatively loosely bound, and that the outermost layers of
water vapor are very loosely bound. (See Figure 2.)
Surface Contamination Modeling . When an overpressure of tritium is added
to the system (i.e., the surface, in this case), a perturbation is introduced to the
system, and Le Chatelier' Principle indicates that the tritium levels in the
s
mono-molecular layers of water will be shifted to the right; that is,
v
2H2O + 2D2O + 2T2O
H2O + HDO + D2O + HTO + DTO + T2O .
(9a)
I-98


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