Digging for Treasure - Unique Fate and Transport Study

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In 1970, scientists at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), now called the National Institute of Standards and Testing (NIST), implemented the most ambitious and comprehensive long-term corrosion behavior test for stainless steels in soil environments. This study had historic significance since the NBS 1957 landmark corrosion textbook compiled by Romanoff did not include stainless steels, and this 1970 research set forth to complete the missing body of knowledge. To conduct the test, NIST scientists buried 6,324 coupons from stainless steel types, specialty alloys, composite configurations, multiple material forms, and treatment conditions at six distinctive soil-type sites throughout the country. ... continued below

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Zirker, Larry; Adler-Flitton, M. K. & Beitel, G. A. February 1, 2003.

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In 1970, scientists at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), now called the National Institute of Standards and Testing (NIST), implemented the most ambitious and comprehensive long-term corrosion behavior test for stainless steels in soil environments. This study had historic significance since the NBS 1957 landmark corrosion textbook compiled by Romanoff did not include stainless steels, and this 1970 research set forth to complete the missing body of knowledge. To conduct the test, NIST scientists buried 6,324 coupons from stainless steel types, specialty alloys, composite configurations, multiple material forms, and treatment conditions at six distinctive soil-type sites throughout the country. Between 1971 and 1980, four sets of coupons were removed from the six sites to establish 1-year, 2-year, 4-year, and 8- year corrosion rates data sets for different soil environments. The fifth and last set of coupons (approximately 200 at each site) remains undisturbed after 32-years, providing a virtual buried treasure of material and subsurface scientific data. These buried coupons and the surrounding soils represent an analog to the condition of buried waste and containers. Heretofore, the samples were simply pulled from the soil, measured for mass loss and the corrosion rate determined while the subsurface/fate and transport information was not considered nor gathered. Funded through an Environmental Management Science Program (EMSP) proposal, the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) operated for the U.S. Department of Energy by Bechtel-BWXT Idaho, LLC (BBWI), is chartered to restart this corrosion test and concurrently capture the available subsurface/fate and transport information. Since the work of retrieving the buried metal coupons is still in the planning stage, this paper outlines the interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers and defines the benefits of this research to long-term stewardship, subsurface science, and infrastructure protection programs.

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  • Waste Management '03,Tucson, AZ,02/23/2003,02/27/2003

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  • Report No.: INEEL/CON-03-00232
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 911292
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc889090

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  • February 1, 2003

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 7:37 p.m.

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Zirker, Larry; Adler-Flitton, M. K. & Beitel, G. A. Digging for Treasure - Unique Fate and Transport Study, article, February 1, 2003; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc889090/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.