2003 Volume 52 Issue 1 Pages 35-43
The effects of a heat-transfer on the corrosion of zirconium was examined in boiling nitric acid solutions with various concentrations. Corrosion mass losses and electrochemical polarization curves were measured on the heat-transfer and isothermal surfaces in the solutions. It was found that the corrosion rate of zirconium was higher on the heat-transfer surface than that on the isothermal surface. The rate increased with increasing nitric acid concentration and solution temperature. The increased oxidization potential on the heat-transfer surface is attributed to the reduction of nitrous acid concentration by the thermal decomposition on the surface and the removal of the decomposition product from solution by boiling bubbles. The redox potential of 12 mol/dm3 nitric acid on a boiling heat-transfer surface was very close to the breakdown potential of primary passivity of zirconium. This suggests the initiation of SCC on a boiling heat-transfer surface in a nuclear fuel reprocessing.