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Tritium Recycling Is Great For The Environment

Tritium recycling is great for the environment

Building owners who have invested in tritium exit signs have elected to take advantage of the maintenance free nature of such glowing fixtures. These owners also appreciate the fact that the sign’s total energy consumption cannot be reduced any further because it has already reached zero. Still, the procedure to be used when disposing of these exit signs is a bit involved. Therefore, efforts have been made to simplify that rather involved process. Such efforts result from an awareness of the fact that tritium recycling is great for the environment.

 

UL compliant exit signs

Although these exit signs represent a source of isotopes, each sign’s visible light shines with a brightness that is two times that of the lowest acceptable Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standards. Therefore, it can provide a sufficient level of lighting in case the other lights fail. In recognition of that fact, the United States government has developed a procedure that ensures a tracking of the location of each tritium exit sign.

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Tritium exit signs

The US government has laid down rules that manufacturers must follow when manufacturing a tritium (H-3) exit sign. According to those rules, the sign’s specially sealed tubes must be placed inside shatter-proof gas. That helps to prevent any problem that could result, due to a leaking of tritium from one of the specially sealed tubes.

How these exit signs work

In addition, each manufacturer must use high impact glass when creating the thin box that will hold both the H-3 and the associated tubing. That gives each of the manufactured signs an added bit of protection. It has also aided creation of H-3 recycling, a system that helps to ensure the safety of the environment. Any US plant that manufactures H-3 exit signs gets a license number from the U.S. government. Moreover, each plant that has received such a number is expected to place a radioactive label on each completed sign. That system facilitates easy completion of a carefully-planned tritium recycling procedure.

Licensed recycling and disposal

Once a manufacturer has placed the requisite label on the completed exit sign, the company must let the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) know about the sale of that item. By the same token, the retailer must notify the USNRC when he or she sells the same item to any buyer.

Notify USNRC and documentation

Furthermore, the retailer/supplier is expected to examine all of the H-3 signs that are received. An effort must be made to ensure the absence of a broken tube in each of them. Upon detecting any such break, a retailer/supplier must notify the USNRC.

Even the buyer of the tritium exit sign from a supplier has to complete a certain amount of paperwork. He or she cannot dispose of the fixture like most other trash. If the US government were to give a green light to such an action, then it could not claim that tritium recycling is great for the environment.

Licensed disposal of tritium

Rather that permit the easy and unsafe disposal of signs using H-3, the US government has said that anyone who uses such a device must return that sign to the manufacturer once it is no longer needed. Moreover, he or she must fill out a form that verifies the sending of a sample of tritium-filled signage to the location where it was first produced. In that way, the USNRC can know that the recycling circle has been completed, aiding possible re-use of whatever H-3 remains in the well-protected fixture.



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