US Nuclear: Tritium Monitor Market Soars Due to Construction of $20+ Billion ITER Fusion Energy Project
10/06/2020 | 08:30am EST
Los Angeles, CA, Oct. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via NewMediaWire -- As the construction of the huge ITER tokamak grows towards completion, the tritium monitoring market is soaring. As the world leader in quality tritium monitoring instrumentation, US Nuclear’s (OTC: UCLE) Overhoff division is poised to capture a large portion of this business.
The ITER fusion project seeks to develop a major new source of electric power to help supply the world’s fast-growing appetite for dependable, 24/7 electric power. Fusion is fueled by tritium and deuterium, which are both isotopes of hydrogen. Tritium is in short supply and ITER will fully deplete the global inventory. ITER is a $20+ billion international scientific and engineering project jointly funded by the European Union, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States.
TRITIUM USAGE As a fuel source, tritium is required for ITER and for all other fusion energy projects, but it has many other uses as well. Tritium is used as a radioactive tracer in biomedical and academic research, for producing urgently needed medical scanning isotopes Mo-99 and Tc-99m, designing and testing new pharmaceutical drugs, and providing vital lighting for remote airfields, exit signs, and gun sights. Of course, tritium is also essential for maintaining a deteriorating US nuclear weapons stockpile.
TRITIUM SUPPLY Deuterium can be extracted from seawater relatively easily, but tritium is only produced significantly in nuclear reactors. The current global inventory is only about 20 kilos! Tritium is in short supply and ITER hopes to draw from the global inventory. Supplies may be insufficient until eventually the fusion reaction is established and hopefully the tritium can be ‘bred’ within ITER.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, Savannah River Site, and others are all gearing up for tritium production and recapitalization, which means that much more tritium monitoring instrumentation is needed right now and going forward. US Nuclear’s Overhoff division is booming with business, with a large backlog of orders and many more in the pipeline. Overhoff customers include: DOE national labs, nuclear power plants, pharmaceutical companies, and US/NATO air force and nuclear navies.
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