Corrosion Behavior of Copper in Simulated Anoxic Groundwater Inoculated with Sulfate Reducing Bacteria and Methanogens

Leena Carpén, Elina Huttunen-Saarivirta, Pauliina Rajala, Malin Bomberg

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    In Finland, the high level nuclear waste will be disposed in a geological repository, at the depth of 400-450 m below the sea level. The solid spent fuel rods are placed in cast iron containers, covered with 50 mm thick copper sheet, which are enclosed by a bentonite clay buffer. The surrounding rock provides the final barrier in this multi-barrier concept. Copper has been chosen for the canister material due to its good corrosion resistance in anoxic water. However, colonization and activity of microbes on the surface or in the vicinity of the canister may initiate and accelerate several corrosion mechanisms. Bentonite buffer surrounding the canister is supposed to inhibit the migration of bacteria into the vicinity of the canister. Nevertheless, due to uneven saturation and swelling of the bentonite or formation of water-bearing fractures, the groundwater and microbes may come into contact with the canister. Here biotic and abiotic mesocosms were assembled containing copper coupons and an artificial groundwater at 10 °C under argon atmosphere. Sulfate reducing bacteria and methanogens enriched from the planned disposal site were added to the biotic experiments. During the exposure of one year, several electrochemical methods were performed intermittently. Preliminary results are presented and discussed in this paper. The results can be used when evaluating risks of the microbially induced corrosion of copper canisters.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCorrosion Conference and Expo 2017
    PublisherNational Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE)
    ISBN (Print)978-1-5108-4034-8
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
    MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
    EventCorrosion Coference and Expo 2017, Corrosion 2017 - New Orleans, United States
    Duration: 26 Mar 201730 Mar 2017

    Publication series

    SeriesNACE - International Corrosion Conference Series


    ConferenceCorrosion Coference and Expo 2017, Corrosion 2017
    Abbreviated titleCorrosion 2017
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityNew Orleans


    • microbially induced corrosion
    • copper canister
    • high level waste
    • repository conditions


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