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Lifetimes of Titanium and Copper Containers for the Disposal of Used Nuclear Fuel

  • Lawrence H. Johnson (a1), D.W. Shoesmith (a1), B.M. Ikeda (a1) and F. King (a1)

Abstract

Titanium and copper have been proposed as suitable container materials for disposal of nuclear fuel waste in plutonic rock of the Canadian Shield. Studies of the corrosion of these materials have led to the development of container failure models to predict long-term performance. Crevice corrosion and hydrogen-induced cracking of titanium have been identified as potential failure mechanisms, and these two processes have been studied in detail. Using data from these studies as well as a number of conservative assumptions, titanium container lifetimes of 1200 to 7000 a have been estimated. For copper, general corrosion has been studied in detail in bulk solution and in compacted clay-based buffer material. Results indicate that the copper corrosion rate is likely to be controlled by the rate of transport of copper species away from the container surface. An assessment of copper pitting data suggests that pitting is an extremely improbable failure mechanism. The copper container failure model predicts minimum container lifetimes of 30 000 a. The results demonstrate that long lifetime containment can be provided, should performance assessment studies indicate the need for such an option.

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Lifetimes of Titanium and Copper Containers for the Disposal of Used Nuclear Fuel

  • Lawrence H. Johnson (a1), D.W. Shoesmith (a1), B.M. Ikeda (a1) and F. King (a1)

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