Corrosion Surveillance of Aluminum Alloys In a Spent Fuel Storage Basinfinal

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Spent nuclear fuels from foreign and domestic research and test reactors are being returned to the Savannah River Site for storage with other nuclear materials in the L-Basin. Recent efforts have consolidated the fuel storage systems and L-Basin has become the SRS site for wet storage of spent nuclear fuels. Corrosion surveillance of coupons in this basin is being performed to provide assurance of safe storage of spent fuel. This paper describes the highlights of recent studies on these aluminum coupons after immersion for more than 7 years in L-Basin. Selected coupons were metallurgically characterized to establish the existence of ... continued below

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Vormelker, Philip R. January 19, 2005.

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Spent nuclear fuels from foreign and domestic research and test reactors are being returned to the Savannah River Site for storage with other nuclear materials in the L-Basin. Recent efforts have consolidated the fuel storage systems and L-Basin has become the SRS site for wet storage of spent nuclear fuels. Corrosion surveillance of coupons in this basin is being performed to provide assurance of safe storage of spent fuel. This paper describes the highlights of recent studies on these aluminum coupons after immersion for more than 7 years in L-Basin. Selected coupons were metallurgically characterized to establish the existence of general corrosion and pitting. Minor pitting corrosion was observed on the intentionally galvanically coupled samples and creviced coupons, thus demonstrating that localized concentration cells were formed during the exposure period. In these cases, the susceptibility to pitting was not attributed to aggressive basin water chemistry but to localized conditions--crevices and galvanic coupling--that allowed the development of oxygen and/or metal ion concentration cells that produced locally aggressive waters. General corrosion was also observed on some of the coupons. None of the coupons were pre-oxidized to form a protective oxide as compared to the spent fuel which was oxidized during reactor operations. This enables the coupons to react to basin water chemistry in a relatively short period of time whereas spent fuel is protected against such reactions. The coupon observations demonstrate that, even when the basin water chemistry is rigorously controlled, localized aggressive conditions can develop, emphasizing the importance of a routine surveillance program.

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  • 2005 NACE Corrosion2005 Conference, Houston, TX (US), 04/03/2005--04/07/2005

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  • Report No.: WSRC-MS-2004-00654
  • Grant Number: AC09-96SR18500
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 837903
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc788348

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  • January 19, 2005

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • May 5, 2016, 3:45 p.m.

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Vormelker, Philip R. Corrosion Surveillance of Aluminum Alloys In a Spent Fuel Storage Basinfinal, article, January 19, 2005; South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc788348/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.