Fusion Message Board

In this space, visitors are invited to post any comments, questions, or skeptical observations about Philo T. Farnsworth's contributions to the field of Nuclear Fusion research.

Subject: Re: Tritium production and measurement
Date: Jul 20, 10:25 am
Poster: Clay Codner

On Jul 20, 10:25 am, Clay Codner wrote:


I think it would be fairly easy to calculate the Tritium content of the fusor at any point in time.

We know that statistically every two neutrons counted should produce a Tritium atom. (Starting from pure D-D assuming a 50% probability of D+D-->He+N and D+D-->T+H). This is only a starting point, though. We may need to subtract off the tritium that decays, although I don't think it is significant over the time period we are talking. I find no problem with your assumption that the decay is linear. With a half life of 12 years, the decay IS linear within the confines of an hour. This approximation is made all the time in Nuke books.

The kicker is that you should get a 2% increase in your neutron count for every 1% increase in Tritium. I am assuming roughly a 100X increase in neutron production from a 50-50 D_T mix.

If you are counting 10^5 neutrons/s initially, you should be producing 50,000 Tritons/s = 3,000,000 Tritons/min. Over 1/2 hour, you should produce 90,000,000 tritons minus the 3 tritons that have decayed :-). If you could get the initial yield up to 10^6 neutrons per second, that gives you 9x10^8 tritons and at 10^7 you get 9x10^9.

What I am thinking is that you might get better results using a simple fusor , especially if you could nurse it up to 10^6-10^8 neutrons per second or run it at extreme vacuum.

If you have a well sealed system, you could use multiple runs to actually breed Tritium. Several runs in a sealed system might give you that D-T reaction you have been dreaming of. Of course, you would pretty much be obliged at that point to register with the government.

As a final note to a message that is already too long, it seems to me that a commercial reactor would be ignited with D-D, then brought to a 50-50 mix and bleed in D-D as the chamber converts to T and He. I think this simply because Deuterium is cheap, and Tritium is not.