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Investigation on degradation mechanism of ion exchange membrane immersed in highly concentrated tritiated water under the Broader Approach activities

Iwai, Yasunori; Sato, Katsumi; Yamanishi, Toshihiko

The ion exchange membrane such as Nafion is a key material for electrolysis cells of the Water Detritiation System. Long-term exposure of Nafion ion exchange membrane into 1.38$$times$$10$$^{12}$$Bq/kg of tritiated water was conducted at room temperature for up to 2 years. The ionic conductivity of Nafion ion exchange membrane after immersed in tritiated water was changed. The change in color of membrane from colorless to yellowish was caused by active radical reactions. Infrared Fourier transform spectrum of the membrane immersed in tritiated water revealed a small peak for bending vibration of C-H situated at 1437 cm$$^{-1}$$ demonstrating the formation of hydrophobic functional group in the membrane. The high-resolution solid state $$^{19}$$F NMR spectrum of the membrane after immersed in tritiated water was similar to that of membrane irradiated with $$gamma$$-rays. From the $$^{19}$$F NMR spectrum, any distinctive degradation in the membrane structure by interaction with tritium was not measured.

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Category:Nuclear Science & Technology

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