The Corrosion of Aluminum-Clad Nuclear Fuel in Wet Basin Storage
Large quantities of aluminum-clad spent nuclear materials have been in interim storage in the fuel storage basins at The Savannah River Site while awaiting processing since 1989. This extended storage as a result of a moratorium on processing resulted in corrosion of the aluminum clad. Examinations of this fuel and other data from a corrosion surveillance program in the water basins have provided basic insight into the corrosion process and have resulted in improvements in the storage facilities and basin operations. Since these improvements were implemented, there has been no new initiation of pitting observed since 1993. This paper describes the corrosion of spent fuel and the metallographic examination of Mark 31A target slugs removed from the K-basin storage pool after 5 years of storage. It discusses the SRS Corrosion Surveillance Program and the improvements made to the storage facilities which have mitigated new corrosion in the basins.