The generation of hydrogen gas from metallic waste in corrosive disposal
environment is an important issue for the safety analysis of low-level
radioactive waste disposal facilities in Japan. In particular iron and
aluminum are the possibly important elements regarding the gas generation.
However, the corrosion behavior of these metals has not been sufficiently
investigated under the highly alkaline non-oxidizing disposal conditions
We studied the corrosion behavior of iron and aluminum under simulated
disposal environments. The quantity of hydrogen gas generated from iron was
measured in a closed cell under highly alkaline non-oxidizing conditions.
The observed corrosion rate of iron in the initial period of immersion was 4
nm/year at 15 °C, 20 nm/year at 30 °C, and 200 nm/year at 45 °C. The
activation energy was found to be 100 kJ/mol from Arrhenius plotting of the
above corrosion rates.
The corrosion behavior of aluminum was studied under an environment
simulating conditions in which aluminum was solidified with mortar. In the
initial period aluminum corroded rapidly with a corrosion rate of 20
mm/year. However, the corrosion rate decreased with time, and after 1,000
hours the rate reached 0.001 to 0.01 mm/year.
Thus we obtained data on hydrogen gas generation from iron and aluminum
under the disposal environment relevant to the safety analysis of low-level
radioactive disposal facilities in Japan.