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The fact that buried metallic structures corrode is well documented. It has been postulated that the extent and rate of attack is controlled predominantly by the characteristics of the surrounding soil. Therefore, prior to constructing a new facility designed to process accumulated nuclear waste, consideration was given to protecting its underground pipelines against corrosion. Leak frequency curves from other nearby plant sites, extensive soil resistivity surveys, and geochemical analysis were used to evaluate the on-site soil characteristics for corrosion susceptibility.
Analysis of the data collected over a three-year period indicated that although the soil is not overly aggressive, substantial heterogeneity existed so as to establish galvanic cells along pipe lengths passing through the soil. To limit the extent of corrosion on underground piping, the application of an impressed current cathodic protection system was recommended to supplement a high-integrity, corrosion-resistant coating and wrap system.
cathodic protection, corrosion, soil characteristics, soil surveys, nuclear, underground, site selection
Corrosion Testing Laboratories, Inc., Wilmington, DE
E. I. duPont de Nemours and Co., Savannah River Laboratory, Aiken, SC