Tritium water dating
Beta particles from tritium can penetrate only about 6.0 mm of air, and they are incapable of passing through the dead outermost layer of human skin.
The unusually low energy released in the tritium beta decay makes the decay (along with that of rhenium-187) appropriate for absolute neutrino mass measurements in the laboratory (the most recent experiment being KATRIN).
The low energy of tritium's radiation makes it difficult to detect tritium-labeled compounds except by using liquid scintillation counting.
Tritium is produced in nuclear reactors by neutron activation of lithium-6.
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.
The tritium nucleus, containing one proton and two neutrons, has the same charge as the nucleus of ordinary hydrogen, and it experiences the same electrostatic repulsive force when brought close to another atomic nucleus.
However, the neutrons in the tritium nucleus increase the attractive strong nuclear force when brought close enough to another atomic nucleus.
The atmosphere has only trace amounts, formed by the interaction of its gases with cosmic rays.
It can be produced by irradiating lithium metal or lithium-bearing ceramic pebbles in a nuclear reactor.
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For applications in proposed fusion energy reactors, such as ITER, pebbles consisting of lithium bearing ceramics including Li High-energy neutrons can also produce tritium from lithium-7 in an endothermic (net heat consuming) reaction, consuming 2.466 Me V.