Progress of Cryogenics and Isotopes Separation , ISSN: 1582-2575
2019, Volume 22, Issue 1
Pages 17-28

Overview of tritium activity in the nuclear fission reactors

Iulian Niţă 1* , Mariea Deaconu 2 , Raluca Fako 1 , Sorin Meglea 1 , Dan Bujoreanu 2

1 Center of Technology and Engineering for Nuclear Project, 409, Atomistilor Street, Magurele, Ilfov, Romania
2 Institute for Nuclear Research, Campului Street, No. 1, POB 78, 115400, Mioveni, Arges, Romania

*Corresponding authors: Iulian Niţă, E-mail:

Published: 2019


This paper is focused on the assessment of tritium source term relevant for fission reactors, with the purpose to estimate the tritium production and its behavior upon release to the environment. The scope of the paper is to discus tritium production aspects of European existing fleet of fission reactors, to derive a preliminary estimate of the probable tritium releases and source terms and to identify areas where advancement of fission reactor tritium controls technology will be required. During the reactor operation, the tritium is generated both as a fission product, by ternary fission, and as an activation product from neutrons interacting with different elements of the reactor core. Different reactor types generate different amounts of tritium, by different production mechanisms. That is because, depending on various reactor types, the processes of tritium production and migration differ due to the use of various fuel types, structural materials of fuel cladding, temperature modes of operation, types of moderator and coolant and the systems that ensure radiation safety. Since, from the radiological point of view, release of tritium (3H) can significantly impact human health and environmental safety, the behavior of 3H in nuclear systems is of great concern in nuclear designs.


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    tritium generation, fission reactors, tritium management, nuclear power plant

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