National Nuclear Security Administration

Tritium experts convene at PNNL for focus group

June 2, 2017

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More than 50 national and international tritium experts gathered at PNNL for the Tritium Focus Group.

More than 50 tritium experts from across the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Canada, and the United Kingdom convened in May at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Wash., for the 38th Tritium Focus Group Meeting.

The focus group is a long-standing working group to promote improvements in tritium safety, handling, transportation, storage, operations, and communication across DOE, including NNSA.

Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. It is used in nuclear weapons but is also important for fusion energy and other commercial applications such as emergency exit sign lighting.

 “Scientists and engineers present information on techniques of working with tritium, packaging tritiated waste, foundational tritium research, and how tritium reacts in the environment,” said David Senor, an engineer and the organizer of the meeting at PNNL. “The meetings are an excellent forum for communication, collaboration, and stimulating new ideas.”

In addition to the meeting presentations, attendees toured the PNNL’s Radiochemical Processing Laboratory and the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory at Hanford, which is operated by Caltech and MIT.