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Corrosion of carbon steel feeders during dilute chemical decontamination of primary heat transport system of PHWRs



Carbon steel feeders in the primary heat transport system of pressurized heavy water reactors (PHWRs) show significant wall thinning due to flow accelerated corrosion (FAC). This is of great concern, as the wear rate in certain locations exceeds the corrosion allowance by design. This necessitates periodic measurement of wall thickness and in some cases even mid course enmasse replacement of feeders. While analyzing the data on wall thicknesses and in arriving at the wall thinning rate during operation of the reactor, sufficient care has to be taken to account for the wall thinning occurring during full system chemical decontamination campaign which is carried out occasionally to reduce dose rates during reactor shut down. Chemical decontamination of primary heat transport system is carried out using a mixture of organic acids at a total concentration of about 0.1 g/L and at 85 °C. The results of experiments carried out under simulated conditions for estimating the wall thinning occurring in carbon steel feeder elbow during dilute chemical decontamination are described in this work. The corrosion rates are quantified.