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Title: Corrosion Assessment of Candidate Materials for the SHINE Subcritical Assembly Vessel and Components FY14 Report

Laboratory corrosion testing of candidate alloys—including Zr-4 and Zr-2.5Nb representing the target solution vessel, and 316L, 2304, 304L, and 17-4 PH stainless steels representing process piping and balance-of-plant components—was performed in support of the proposed SHINE process to produce 99Mo from low-enriched uranium. The test solutions used depleted uranyl sulfate in various concentrations and incorporated a range of temperatures, excess sulfuric acid concentrations, nitric acid additions (to simulate radiolysis product generation), and iodine additions. Testing involved static immersion of coupons in solution and in the vapor above the solution, and was extended to include planned-interval tests to examine details associated with stainless steel corrosion in environments containing iodine species. A large number of galvanic tests featuring couples between a stainless steel and a zirconium-based alloy were performed, and limited vibratory horn testing was incorporated to explore potential erosion/corrosion features of compatibility. In all cases, corrosion of the zirconium alloys was observed to be minimal, with corrosion rates based on weight loss calculated to be less than 0.1 mil/year with no change in surface roughness. The resulting passive film appeared to be ZrO2 with variations in thickness that influence apparent coloration (toward light brown for thicker films). Galvanic coupling with variousmore » stainless steels in selected exposures had no discernable effect on appearance, surface roughness, or corrosion rate. Erosion/corrosion behavior was the same for zirconium alloys in uranyl sulfate solutions and in sodium sulfate solutions adjusted to a similar pH, suggesting there was no negative effect of uranium resulting from fluid dynamic conditions aggressive to the passive film. Corrosion of the candidate stainless steels was similarly modest across the entire range of exposures. However, some sensitivity to corrosion of the stainless steels was observed in solutions with 50 wppm iodine (the actual SHINE process expects 0.1–1 wppm) with the highest corrosion rates (up to ~6 mil/year) observed on specimens exposed in the vapor phase. Lower concentrations of iodine species (5 or 28 wppm) proved much less corrosive, and the planned-interval data indicated that metal corrodibility decreased with time for all immersed exposures and, with one minor exception, all vapor exposures. Little change in susceptibility to corrosion was observed as a result of nitric acid additions to the test environment (simulating radiolysis products). The trend toward reduced corrosion (immersion and vapor phase) with decreasing iodine concentration suggests that, at the expected conditions in the SHINE process, it is unlikely that iodine species will generate a general corrosion concern for the candidate stainless steels.« less
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
NN9100000; MDGA518
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Zr-base alloys; stainless steels; uranyl sulfate; corrosion