Experimental Study and Reactive Transport Modeling of Boric Acid Leaching of Concrete
1 Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.
2 Southwest Research Institute®, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.
Borated water leakage through spent fuel pools (SFPs) at pressurized water reactors is a concern because it could cause corrosion of reinforcement steel in the concrete structure, compromise the integrity of the structure, or cause unmonitored releases of contaminated water to the environment. Experimental data indicate that pH is a critical parameter that determines the corrosion susceptibility of rebar in borated water and the degree of concrete degradation by boric acid leaching. In this study, reactive transport modeling of concrete leaching by borated water was performed to provide information on the solution pH in the concrete crack or matrix and the degree of concrete degradation at different locations of an SFP concrete structure exposed to borated water. Simulations up to 100 years were performed using different boric acid concentrations, crack apertures, and solution flow rates. Concrete cylinders were immersed in boric acid solutions for several months and the mineralogical changes and boric acid penetration in the concrete cylinder were evaluated as a function of time. The depths of concrete leaching by boric acid solution derived from the reactive transport simulations were compared with the measured boric acid penetration depth.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
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