The ability of the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) to attain the largest fusion power gain depends critically on minimizing plasma contamination and controlling the densities of the reacting deuterium and tritium. Experiments on a number of tokamaks have shown that gettering over an appreciable surface area ( greater than equivalent to 10%) of the vacuum vessel greatly facilitates both of these objectives. One particular problem in implementing a surface pumping system in TFTR, however, is a restriction on the maximum allowable tritium content of the getter. A scheme utilizing SAES Zr/Al getter modules obviates the need for such frequent interruptions of machine operation by taking advantage of the pulsed operation of TFTR. With the Zr/Al getter at temperatures between 500 degree -600 degree C it is possible to achieve a quasisteady state in the tritium loading where the quantity of tritium desorbed between pulses is equal to the quantity which is absorbed during a pulse. Since frequent thermal cycling is not required, this scheme also reduces the possibility of Zr/Al getter material fatigue.
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