Journal of Materials Engineering and Performance

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 519–525 | Cite as

Feasibility of Using Steel Drums for the Confinement of Burned Low-Level Radioactive Waste Ashes

  • Gustavo S. Duffó
  • Silvia B. FarinaEmail author
  • Fátima M. Schulz
  • Francesca Marotta


The selection of suitable materials to construct a facility for the final disposal of radioactive wastes (repository) is a challenge in materials science, since these facilities must be designed to provide confinement to the radionuclides for long periods of time. In the case of the low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) repository, the confinement of the species must be guaranteed for more than 300 years. In this context, the evaluation of the proposed materials must be performed under accelerated laboratory tests. One type of LLRW consists of ashes that result from the incineration of solid combustible radioactive waste. In Argentina, one of the proposed projects is to place these ashes inside steel drums and immobilized them by a cementation process. The issue to be resolved is whether the steel drums will undergo internal corrosion depending on the presence of certain deleterious species. The aim of the present work is to evaluate the corrosion susceptibility of steel drums containing simulated cemented incineration ashes. To this purpose, a special type of specimen was designed and the corrosion process was followed up for almost 4 years. It was found that, although the deleterious effect of chloride is undeniable, corrosion rates are not as high as to compromise the integrity of the steel drums for a design period of 300 years.


corrosion incineration ashes radioactive waste steel 



The financial support of the CONICET (Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas), the ANPCYT (Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica) and UNSAM (Universidad Nacional de San Martín), Argentina, is acknowledged.


  1. 1.
    G.S. Duffó, E.A. Arva, F.M. Schulz, and D.R. Vázquez, Durability of a Reinforced Concrete Designed for the Construction of an Intermediate-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility, J. Nucl. Mater., 2012, 420, p 382–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    R.O. Abdel Rahman and A.A. Zaki, Assessment of the Leaching Characteristics of Incineration Ashes in Cement Matrix, Chem. Eng. J., 2009, 155, p 698–708CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    V.M. Efremenkov, Radioactive Waste Management at Nuclear Power Plants, IAEA Bull., 1989, 4, p 37–42Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    A.E. Osmanlioglu, Progress in Cementation of Reactor Resins, Progr. Nucl. Energy, 2007, 49, p 20–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    M.S. Sayed and M.M. Khattab, Immobilization of Liquid Radioactive Wastes by Hardened Blended Cement-White Sand Pastes, J. Am. Sci., 2010, 6, p 334–341Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    F.P. Glasser, Progress in the Immobilization of Radioactive Wastes in Cement, Cem. Concr. Res., 1992, 22, p 201–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    J.D. Palmer and G.A. Fairhall, Properties of Cement Systems Containing Intermediate Level Wastes, Cem. Concr. Res., 1992, 22, p 325–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    M.L.D. Gougar, B.E. Scheetz, and D.M. Roy, Ettringite and C-S-H Portland Cement Phases for Waste Ion Immobilization: A Review, Waste Manag., 1996, 16, p 295–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Caracterización de cenizas radioactivas simuladas y evaluación de métodos de acondicionamiento (Characterization of Simulated Radioactive Waste Ashes and Evaluation of Conditioning Methods), Technical Report IP/IQ-001-262/89, Departamento de Ingeniería Química y Ambiental, Escuela Superior de Ingenieros Industriales de Sevilla, Sevilla, 1991 (in Spanish) Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    G.S. Duffó, S.B. Farina, F.M. Schulz, and F. Marotta, Corrosion Susceptibility of Steel Drums Containing Cemented Intermediate Level Nuclear Wastes, J. Nucl. Mater., 2010, 405, p 274–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    G.S. Duffó, S.B. Farina, and F.M. Schulz, Corrosion of Steel Drums Containing Cemented Nuclear Waste, J. Nucl. Mater., 2013, 438, p 116–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    G.S. Duffó, S.B. Farina, and C.M. Giordano, Characterization of Solid Embeddable Reference Electrodes for Corrosion Monitoring in Reinforced Concrete Structures, Electrochim. Acta, 2009, 54, p 1010–1020CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    G.S. Duffó, S.B. Farina, and C.M. Giordano, Embeddable Reference Electrodes for Corrosion Monitoring of Reinforced Concrete Structures, Mater. Corros., 2010, 61, p 480–489CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    M. Stern and A.L. Geary, Electrochemical Polarization, I. A Theoretical Analysis of the Shape of Polarization Curves, J. Electrochem. Soc., 1957, 104, p 56–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    “Test Method for Half-Cell Potential for Uncoated Reinforcing Steel in Concrete”, C 0876-91R99, Annual Book of ASTM Standards, ASTM, 2004, p 1–6Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    D. de la Fuente, I. Díaz, J. Simancas, B. Chico, and M. Morcillo, Long-Term Atmospheric Corrosion of Mild Steel, Corros. Sci., 2011, 53, p 604–617CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    D.A. Koleva, J. Hu, A.L.A. Fraaij, P. Stroeven, N. Boshkov, and J.H.W. de Wit, Quantitative Characterisation of Steel/Cement Paste Interface Microstructure and Corrosion Phenomena in Mortars Suffering from Chloride Attack, Corros. Sci., 2006, 48, p 4001–4019CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    A. Raman, S. Nasrazadani, and L. Sharma, Morphology of Rust Phases Formed on Weathering Steels in Various Laboratory Corrosion Tests, Metallography, 1989, 22, p 79–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    A. Razvan and A. Raman, Morphology of Rust Phases Formed on Naturally Weathered Weathering Steels in Bridge Spans, Pract. Metallogr., 1986, 23, p 223–236Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    T. Misawa, T. Kyuno, W. Suetaka, and S. Shimodaira, The Mechanism of Atmospheric Rusting and the Effect of Cu and P on the Rust Formation of Low Alloy Steels, Corros. Sci., 1971, 11, p 35–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    J.A. González, C. Andrade, C. Alonso, and S. Feliu, Comparison of Rates of General Corrosion and Maximum Pitting Penetration of Concrete Embedded Steel Reinforcement, Cem. Concr. Res., 1995, 25, p 257–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management. Fifth National Report, Argentina, 2014. Accessed 1 Aug 2016

Copyright information

© ASM International 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gustavo S. Duffó
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Silvia B. Farina
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Fátima M. Schulz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Francesca Marotta
    • 4
  1. 1.Comisión Nacional de Energía AtómicaSan MartínArgentina
  2. 2.Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y TécnicasBuenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Universidad Nacional de San MartínSan MartínArgentina
  4. 4.Politecnico di MilanoMilanItaly

Personalised recommendations