Voyager deuterium tank failure

Voyager's deuterium tank, highlighted orange

Warp propulsion systems graphic

A graphic of the main components of a warp drive, including the deuterium tanks

The deuterium tank (or deuterium storage tank or deuterium confinement tankage) was a component of the warp propulsion system aboard most starships that utilized a matter-antimatter reaction, such as Federation starships. The tank was designed to store deuterium and tritium for use in the warp core, in order to provide power to the nacelles. The tank was connected to the deuterium injection subsystem, which injected deuterium into the dilithium regulation chamber. Engineers aboard Federation starships had access to technical manuals about the procedures for tankage transfer and safety. These manuals were stored in the Engineering Systems Database. Aboard Galaxy-class starships, this tank was located on decks 27 to 30. (TNG: "Contagion", "Booby Trap", "Disaster", okudagrams)

A shipment of deuterium storage tanks was due to be transferred to the holding vessel USS Tripoli from Surplus Depot Z15 in 2368. With the Tripoli discovered to be missing, the shipment was intercepted by a smuggler vessel and lost in its destruction. (TNG: "Unification II")

In 2374, the USS Voyager passed through a nebula containing harmful subnucleonic radiation. The radiation caused the ship's bio-neural gel packs to create false readings that the deuterium storage tanks were breaching, and causing a cascade failure in the Antimatter storage systems as well. The Doctor recommended that Seven of Nine eject the tanks, but they soon realized it was a computer error. (VOY: "One")

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According to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, on a Galaxy-class starship, the deuterium tanks are constructed of forced-matrix 2378 cortanium and stainless steel and insulated by alternating parallel and biased layers of foamed vac-whisker silicon-copper-duranite. An individual compartmentalized deuterium tank has enough space for 63,200 cubic meters of deuterium, although the normal load is 62,500 cubic meters, which is sufficient for three years of multi-mission operations. While in storage, deuterium is cryogenically held in the tanks in slush form at 13.8 Kelvin.
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