Monitoring uranium corrosion in Magnox sludge using X-ray computed tomography: A direct analogue to “legacy” fuel storage ponds

C. Paraskevoulakos*, K. R. Hallam, A. Adamska, T. B. Scott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Abstract

During the early years of nuclear industry within the UK, the typical route followed to handle Magnox (Mg-Al alloy) casing after separation from the nuclear fuel has been immersion in water temporarily in specifically-designed water ponds. Over the decades of storage, Magnox has been corroding in water, resulting in the formation of sludge within the ponds; known as Corroded Magnox Sludge. Uranium, which has been also contained within the ponds as a result of faults occurring during fuel-casing separation, is susceptible to corrosion in water-rich environments. Under certain circumstances, uranium corrosion products can be highly pyrophoric during oxidation in air. This raises serious concerns regarding the safety margins of nuclear pond decommissioning. The present study attempts to shed light on the behaviour of uranium in a Magnox sludge-surrogate environment, using X-ray computed tomography at distinct time intervals over an 18-month period. Focus was given onto the uranium-sludge interface to determine metallic corrosion onset and evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108551
JournalCorrosion Science
Early online date19 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Alloy (A)
  • Interfaces (C)
  • Pitting corrosion (C)

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