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Distinctive radiation durability of an ion exchange membrane in the SPE water electrolyzer for the ITER water detritiation system

Iwai, Yasunori; Yamanishi, Toshihiko; Isobe, Kanetsugu; Nishi, Masataka; Yagi, Toshiaki; Tamada, Masao

Solid-polymer-electrolyte (SPE) water electrolysis is attractive in electrolytic process of water detritiation system (WDS) in fusion reactors because it can electrolyze liquid waste directly, but radioactive durability of its ion exchange membrane is a key point. Radioactive durability of Nafion, a typical commercial ion exchange membrane, was experimentally investigated using Co-60 irradiation facility and electron beam irradiation facility at Takasaki Radiation Chemistry Research Establishment of JAERI. Nafion is composed of PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) main chain. However the degradation of its mechanical strength by irradiation was significantly distinguished from that of PTFE and no serious damage was observed for its ion exchange capacity up to 530 kGy, the requirement of ITER. Atmospheric effects such as soaking and oxygen on degrading behaviors were discussed from the viewpoint of radical reaction mechanism. Dependencies of operating temperature and radioactive source are also demonstrated in detail.

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Category:Nuclear Science & Technology

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