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However, if the atoms have a high enough temperature and pressure (for example, in the core of the Sun), then their random motions can overcome such electrical repulsion (called the Coulomb force), and they can come close enough for the strong nuclear force to take effect, fusing them into heavier atoms.

The tritium nucleus, containing one proton and two neutrons, has the same charge as the nucleus of ordinary hydrogen, and it experiences the same electrostatic repulsive force when brought close to another atomic nucleus.

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This is due to a fixed production rate and losses proportional to the inventory.

According to the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research report in 1996 about the U. Department of Energy, only 225 kg (496 lb) of tritium has been produced in the United States since 1955.

The low energy of tritium's radiation makes it difficult to detect tritium-labeled compounds except by using liquid scintillation counting.

Tritium is produced in nuclear reactors by neutron activation of lithium-6.

This is possible with neutrons of any energy, and is an exothermic reaction yielding 4.8 Me V.

In comparison, the fusion of deuterium with tritium releases about 17.6 Me V of energy.For applications in proposed fusion energy reactors, such as ITER, pebbles consisting of lithium bearing ceramics including Li High-energy neutrons can also produce tritium from lithium-7 in an endothermic (a net heat consuming reaction) reaction, consuming 2.466 Me V.This was discovered when the 1954 Castle Bravo nuclear test produced an unexpectedly high yield.However, the neutrons in the tritium nucleus increase the attractive strong nuclear force when brought close enough to another atomic nucleus.As a result, tritium can more easily fuse with other light atoms, compared with the ability of ordinary hydrogen to do so., also known as hydrogen-3) is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen.

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