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Reactive-transport model for the prediction of the uniform corrosion behaviour of copper used fuel containers

Journal of Nuclear Materials
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2008.06.017
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Medicine


Abstract Used fuel containers in a deep geological repository will be subject to various forms of corrosion. For containers made from oxygen-free, phosphorus-doped copper, the most likely corrosion processes are uniform corrosion, underdeposit corrosion, stress corrosion cracking, and microbiologically influenced corrosion. The environmental conditions within the repository are expected to evolve with time, changing from warm and oxidizing initially to cool and anoxic in the long-term. In response, the corrosion behaviour of the containers will also change with time as the repository environment evolve. A reactive-transport model has been developed to predict the time-dependent uniform corrosion behaviour of the container. The model is based on an experimentally-based reaction scheme that accounts for the various chemical, microbiological, electrochemical, precipitation/dissolution, adsorption/desorption, redox, and mass-transport processes at the container surface and in the compacted bentonite-based sealing materials within the repository. Coupling of the electrochemical interfacial reactions with processes in the bentonite buffer material allows the effect of the evolution of the repository environment on the corrosion behaviour of the container to be taken into account. The Copper Corrosion Model for Uniform Corrosion predicts the time-dependent corrosion rate and corrosion potential of the container, as well as the evolution of the near-field environment.

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