Boric Acid Corrosion of Concrete Rebar
1 Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A
2 Corr Instruments, LLC, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.
3 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 and compromise the integrity of the structure. Because corrosion rate of carbon steel in concrete in the presence of boric acid is lacking in published literature and available data are equivocal on the effect of boric acid on rebar corrosion, corrosion rate measurements were conducted in this study using several test methods. Rebar corrosion rates were measured in (i) borated water flowing in a simulated concrete crack, (ii) borated water flowing over a concrete surface, (iii) borated water that has reacted with concrete, and (iv) 2,400 ppm boric acid solutions with pH adjusted to a range of 6.0 to 7.7. The corrosion rates were measured using coupled multielectrode array sensor (CMAS) and linear polarization resistance (LPR) probes, both made using carbon steel. The results indicate that rebar corrosion rates are low (~1 μm/yr or less)when the solution pH is ~7.1 or higher. Below pH ~7.1, the corrosion rate increases with decreasing pH and can reach ~100 μm/yr in solutions with pH less than ~6.7. The threshold pH for carbon steel corrosion in borated solution is between 6.8 and 7.3.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
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