Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis
Failure Analysis of High-Level Radioactive Waste Tank Purge
High-level radioactive wastes generated during the processing of nuclear materials are kept in large underground storage tanks made of low-carbon steel. The wastes consist primarily of concentrated solutions of sodium nitrate and sodium hydroxide. Each of the tanks is equipped with a purge ventilation system designed to continuously remove hydrogen gas and vapors without letting radionuclides escape. Several intergranular cracks were discovered in the vent pipe of one such system. The pipe, made of galvanized steel sheet, connects to an exhaust fan downstream of high-efficiency particulate air filters. The failure analysis investigation concluded that nitrate-induced stress-corrosion cracking was the cause of the failure.
K.H. Subramanian, C.F. Jenkins, Failure Analysis of High-Level Radioactive Waste Tank Purge, Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis, Vol 3, Edited By Larry Berardinis, ASM International, 2019, p 559–567, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.fach.v03.c9001832
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New Handbook: Volume 11B
Now available in the Digital Library! Volume 11B serves as a reference and guide to help engineers determine the causes of failure in plastic components and make corrective adjustments through design and manufacturing modifications.