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In this paper a novel on-line tritium monitor is presented. It is made with a single crystal diamond detector (SCD) covered with a thin layer of LiF 95% enriched in 6Li. Thermal neutrons impinging on the LiF layer produce α and T ions which are detected by the active diamond. The pulse height spectrum shows two separated peaks due to α and T ions respectively. By a proper calibration in a reference thermal flux the number of 6Li atoms and thus the absolute n+6Li→α+T reaction rate per unitary flux can be established. Once calibrated the detector can be used to measure the tritium production. Due to the many outstanding properties of diamond this detector could operate in the harsh working conditions of a fusion breeding blanket. A test of this detector was performed at the 14 MeV Frascati Neutron Generator (FNG). The detector was inserted inside a mock-up of the European Helium Cooled Lithium Lead (HCLL) Tritium Blanket Module (TBM), designed to validate the neutronic database for fusion application. The mock-up of the TBM was designed to perform a full set of experiments to validate tritium production code prediction comparing the experimental results with calculations. The measured tritium rates with the Li-Diamond detector are described in this paper. Comparison with calculations is in progress and will be reported in a future paper.
Date of Publication: June 2011