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A Root Cause Study on AOA-PWR and CDA-VVER: A Point of View of “Long-Cell Action” Corrosion Mechanism

[+] Author Affiliations
Genn Saji

Ex-Secretariate of Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, Yokohama, Japan

Paper No. ICONE14-89658, pp. 631-640; 10 pages
  • 14th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • Volume 1: Plant Operations, Maintenance and Life Cycle; Component Reliability and Materials Issues; Codes, Standards, Licensing and Regulatory Issues; Fuel Cycle and High Level Waste Management
  • Miami, Florida, USA, July 17–20, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4242-8 | eISBN: 0-7918-3783-1
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


The author has investigated the characteristics of boron co-deposition with crud experienced in AOA and iron ferrite deposition in CDA. Corrosion product deposits found in cores with appreciable AOA have been reported in mostly nickel-based (as NiO or elemental nickel) as opposed to nickel ferrite deposits common to non-boiling cores. Significant quantities of meta-ZrO2 and nickel iron oxyborates (bonaccordite), notably Ni2 FeBO5 have also been found in deposits on cores with AOA. On the basis of this general characterization information, the author has constructed a potential-pH diagram of Ni2 FeB(OH)10 , which is a hydrated state of FeNi2 (BO3 )O2 as summarized in this paper. Although preliminary, the estimated E-pH diagram suggests some interesting observation, including: growth of bonaccordite “needles” on the clad is associated with a local anodic electrochemical reaction necessary to remove excess electrons from the system to a cathode. During the AOA cycle, the concentration of nickel and iron ions must have been unusually high as they should be for a significant amount of crud deposits. The author thinks such an acceleration of the anodic dissolution of metal cations is due to the effect of the long cell action corrosion mechanism. As early as 1949, an Italian scientist Petracchi demonstrated that electrochemical effects significantly influence the erosion rate. He constructed a flow nozzle with specimens kept under external electrical potential. Upon inducing as low as 0.1 mA/cm2 of the positive current, the erosion rates were reported drastically increased. No erosion was observed by reversing the polarity of the potential. As discussed in a companion paper also presented at this conference [1], the author discusses various mechanisms (electrochemical cell configurations) that induce potential differences, including those differences in ionic concentration, aeration, temperature, flow velocity, radiation and corrosion potentials. In this paper, the author discusses how these potential differences are related to the AOA/CDA issues in PWR/VVER plants. The author is calling for further verification experiments regarding this corrosion mechanism as a joint international project.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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