Safety in Tritium Handling Technology
The use of tritium as a basic fuel material in a thermonuclear fusion reactor raises particular safety issues due to the combined effects of its physico chemical properties and radioactive nature. Furthermore the possibility of attaining further significant progresses in developing and demonstrating the feasibility of tritium burning devices relies on the handling of tritium macroquantities, say ten grammes, in a safe and reliable manner. It is also undoubted that, apart from technological constraints, any validation and exploitation of thermonuclear fusion as a source of energy will be strongly conditioned by the application of stringent operational and environmental safety criteria as it derives from norms of the modern legislation and public acceptance considerations. Even if the safe handling of tritium has already been demonstrated to be feasible on a full fuel cycle scale, it is unanimously recognized that further efforts are still to be concentrated on the improvement of current concepts and development of advanced technologies. Some of the areas requiring substantial additional efforts are plasma exhaust fuel c1ean-up, tritium pellet injection, processing of inert carrier gas, development of large free-oil pumps,tritlUm process analytics, development of large detritiation systems, beryllium-tritium interaction studies, tritium hold-up studies in getter beds, adsorbers and structural materials, tritium recovery from first wall, structural and breeder materials for minimizing tritiated waste arising,tritium storage technology, tritiated waste disposal technolo~y, methodology for routine tritium accountancy,etc . . Most of them are intrinsically related to the safety requirement of tritium technology.