Subscribe options

Select your newsletters:

Please enter your email address:

@

News & Media

Latest ITER Newsline

  • Cryostat | As clean as a freshly minted coin

    Before it is encased in its protective cocoon and moved to temporary storage, the cryostat upper cylinder must be cleaned. The operation is both low-tech and es [...]

    Read more

  • Top management | Alain Bécoulet, Head of Engineering

    When Alain Bécoulet embraced plasma physics back in the mid-1980s as a student at France's prestigious École Normale Supérieure, he did it for two reasons: one [...]

    Read more

  • Science | New steady state analysis

    Recent research shows it should be possible to reach steady-state fusion production in ITER with the baseline mix of heating and current drive systems, in parti [...]

    Read more

  • Image of the week | Like dancers in a vertical ballet

    Of all the movements of workers and equipment in the Assembly Hall, these are the most gracious... Like ballet dancers on a vertical stage, two workers are b [...]

    Read more

  • Cryostat base | Grand opening soon

    Picture a giant soup plate, 30 metres in diameter, slowing descending into a deep concrete cylinder. Track the near imperceptible movement of the double overhea [...]

    Read more

Of Interest

See archived entries

Trendy tritium

Robert Arnoux

In 2009 French automaker Citroën created a light greenish beige colour for its C1 model which it named ''tritium yellow.'' (Click to view larger version...)
In 2009 French automaker Citroën created a light greenish beige colour for its C1 model which it named ''tritium yellow.''
The element tritium can be put to many uses. Combined with deuterium, it makes an excellent fusion fuel. In association with phosphorous material, it can provide a glow-in-the-dark function to wristwatches, key chains, exit signs or weapon sights.

As for the word "tritium," it seems to have acquired a strong marketing value over the past recent years. In 2009, for instance, French automaker Citroën created a light greenish beige colour for its C1 model which it named "jaune tritium" (tritium yellow).

"We were looking for both a colour and a name that would convey an impression of brightness and lightness," explains Marc Chatrieux, of Citroën's design team. "One of our colourists was using glow-in-the-dark tape in her daughter's room—she came up with the word "tritium" and it sounded nice enough, especially since the colours we are using on our C1 model are obtained with a three-layer paint."

The fact that the element tritium is slightly radioactive did not bother Citroën's design team. "Radioactivity," says Chatrieux, "is an integral part of life..." Nor did it trouble Paolo Bisol, a naval architect in Cannes on the French Riviera who designed the Tritium 720, a "fast, exciting trimaran, able to satisfy the multihull speed freaks but also suitable for family outings and coastal cruising."

Tritium was only identified in 1934 but in Roman times, a city bearing this name already existed: it is now Trezzo sull'Adda, in the Province of Milan. (Click to view larger version...)
Tritium was only identified in 1934 but in Roman times, a city bearing this name already existed: it is now Trezzo sull'Adda, in the Province of Milan.
Tritium is also the name chosen by a real-estate developer for an office building in one of Aix-en-Provence's business parks. Le Tritium is home to the regional headquarters of a major international bank, a large recruitment agency and several professionals.

Another instance of the use of tritium outside the field of fusion can be found in Trezzo, near Milan, Italy, where La Tritium Calcio, a soccer team established in 1908, was promoted this year to the Professional League's First Division.

The explanation, here, is historical—in Roman times, the city of Trezzo was named ... Tritium.


return to the latest published articles