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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.
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 (a net heat consuming reaction) reaction, consuming 2.466 Me V.
This was discovered when the 1954 Castle Bravo nuclear test produced an unexpectedly high yield.
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.