Further studies of in situ corrosion testing of miniature copper-cast iron nuclear waste canisters
Journal article, 2011
To ensure the safe disposal of spent fuel in Sweden, SKB is planning to use the copper-iron canister in a granitic deep geological repository, surrounded by a compacted bentonite engineered barrier. In order to develop a deeper understanding of the internal corrosion behaviour of the design should a leak occur in the outer copper canister, a set of model canisters was set up in the Äspöunderground laboratory in contact with bentonite with a range of densities. The environmental conditions and electrochemical corrosion behaviour were monitored using a range of techniques. Water analysis and electrochemical measurements indicated an increase in the corrosion rate of both iron and copper in contact with low density bentonite, and of iron only in experiments with no bentonite present. This behaviour may be attributable to microbial activity. The measured corrosion rate depends on the technique used and it will be necessary to confirm the measurements by removal and examination of weight loss coupons. © 2011 Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.