2011 Volume 60 Issue 3 Pages 98-108
This paper reviews electrochemical and corrosion studies on the application of carbon steel to an overpack container, which is used for the geological disposal of radioactive wastes. Deaerated alkaline Na2SO4-NaHCO3-NaCl solutions and bentonite soaked with the solutions are used as simulated geological disposal environments. Electrochemical studies show the corrosion of the steel in an early stage is the activation control. Corrosion rates are controlled by the composition of the solutions, alloying elements, and the structure of the steel. The rates decrease with time due to the formation of FeCO3 (siderite) film on the steel. Immersion corrosion tests show general corrosion morphology. Average corrosion rates of long duration have been evaluated. Clear proofs of the initiation of localized corrosion, such as pitting, crevice corrosion, hydrogen embrittlment and stress-corrosion cracking, have not been reported.