Transfer of tritium in concrete coated with hydrophobic paints

S. Fukada, Y. Edao, K. Sato, T. Takeishi, K. Katayama, K. Kobayashi, T. Hayashi, T. Yamanishi, Y. Hatano, A. Taguchi, S. Akamaru

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4 Citations (Scopus)


An experimental study on tritium (T) transfer in porous concrete for the tertiary T safety containment is performed to investigate (i) how fast HTO penetrates through concrete walls, (ii) how well concrete walls contaminated with water-soluble T are decontaminated by a solution-in-water technique, and (iii) how well hydrophobic paint coating works as a protecting film against HTO migrating through concrete walls. The experiment is comparatively carried out using disks of cement paste which W(water)/C(cement) weight ratio is 0.6:1 with or without hydrophobic paints, and mortar disks which W/C/sand ratio is 0.6:1:2 with or without the paints. The hydrophobic paints tested in the present study are an epoxy polymer resin paint and an acrylic-silicon polymer resin one. After T exposure during specified time under a constant HTO vapor pressure in an acrylic box, the amount of water-soluble HTO on/in the disks is determined using a technique of H 2O dissolution during specified time. The results obtained here are summarized as follows: (1) HTO penetration in porous concrete can be correlated in terms of the effective diffusivity. (2) Its value in porous cement without coating is 1.2 × 10 -11 m 2/s at 25 °C. (3) HTO penetrates only through pores in cement, and there is no path for HTO transfer in non-porous sand. (4) Rates of sorption and dissolution of HTO in disks of cement and mortar coated with the epoxy resin paint are correlated in terms of the effective diffusivity through the paint film which value is D T = 1.0 × 10 -16 m 2/s. The rate-determining step is diffusion through the paint. (5) The epoxy resin paint works more effectively as an anti-HTO diffusion coating. (6) Another acrylic-silicon resin paint does not work well as anti-HTO diffusion coating. This may be because the hydrophobic property of the silicon resin paint is deteriorated with elongating the contact time with H 2O vapor or liquid. (7) The HTO uptake inside the epoxy paint is greater than that of the silicon one. (8) The permeation reduction factor (PRF) of HTO for the epoxy paint at steady-state is expected large, if HTO vapor only contributes to diffusion. However, when concrete surfaces coated with the epoxy paint are under wet conditions, the PRF value becomes smaller. All those results can be used to estimate the effect of HTO soaking in concrete walls in case of accidental T release in a fusion reactor room and to decontaminate wastes of tritiated concrete.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-60
Number of pages7
JournalFusion Engineering and Design
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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