Accumulation of radioactive corrosion products on steel surfaces of VVER-type nuclear reactors. II. 60Co

Kálmán Varga, Gábor Hirschberg, Zoltán Németh, Gerrit Myburg, János Schunk, Péter Tilky

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In the case of intact fuel claddings, the predominant source of radioactivity in the primary circuits of water-cooled nuclear reactors is the activation of corrosion products in the core. The most important corrosion product radionuclides in the primary coolant of pressurized water reactors (PWRs) are60Co,58Co,51Cr,54Mn, 59Fe (as well as110mAg in some Soviet-made VVER-type reactor). The second part of this series is focused on the complex studies of the formation and build-up of 60Co-containing species on an austenitic stainless steel type 08X18H10T (GOST 5632-61) and magnetite-covered carbon steel often to be used in Soviet-planned VVERs. The kinetics and mechanism of the cobalt accumulation were studied by a combination (coupling) of an in situ radiotracer method and voltammetry in a model solution of the primary circuit coolant. In addition, independent techniques such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic (XPS) and ICP-OES ar e also used to analyze the chemical state of Co species in the passive layer formed on stainless steel as well as the chemical composition of model solution. The experimental results have revealed that: (i) The passive behavior of the austenitic stainless steel at open-circuit conditions, the slightly alkaline pH and the reducing water chemistry can be considered to be optimal to minimize the 60Co contamination. (ii) The highly potential dependent deposition of various Co-oxides at E > 1.10V (vs. RHE) offers a unique possibility to elaborate a novel electrochemical method for the decrease or removal of cobalt traces from borate-containing coolants contaminated with 60Co and/or58Co radionuclides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-238
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

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