Radioactive dating cold
The low energy of tritium's radiation makes it difficult to detect tritium-labeled compounds except by using liquid scintillation counting.
Radioluminescent 1.8 curies (67 GBq) 6 by 0.2 inches (152.4 mm × 5.1 mm) tritium vials are thin, tritium-gas-filled glass vials whose inner surfaces are coated with a phosphor. Like the other isotopes of hydrogen, tritium is difficult to confine.
Rubber, plastic, and some kinds of steel are all somewhat permeable.
The same is true, albeit to a lesser extent, of deuterium.
This is why brown dwarfs (so-called failed stars) cannot utilize ordinary hydrogen, but they do fuse the small minority of deuterium nuclei.
Even so, cleaning tritium from the moderator may be desirable after several years to reduce the risk of its escaping to the environment.
Ontario Power Generation's "Tritium Removal Facility" processes up to 2,500 tonnes (2,500 long tons; 2,800 short tons) of heavy water a year, and it separates out about 2.5 kg (5.5 lb) of tritium, making it available for other uses.
With the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) after the end of the Cold War, the existing supplies were sufficient for the new, smaller number of nuclear weapons for some time.
The production of tritium was resumed with irradiation of rods containing lithium (replacing the usual control rods containing boron, cadmium, or hafnium), at the reactors of the commercial Watts Bar Nuclear Generating Station in 2003–2005 followed by extraction of tritium from the rods at the new Tritium Extraction Facility All atomic nuclei, being composed of protons and neutrons, repel one another because of their positive charge.
and it releases 18.6 ke V of energy in the process.
The electron's kinetic energy varies, with an average of 5.7 ke V, while the remaining energy is carried off by the nearly undetectable electron antineutrino.
However, the neutrons in the tritium nucleus increase the attractive strong nuclear force when brought close enough to another atomic nucleus.