Microbially induced corrosion of carbon steel and stainless steel in alkaline ground water -composition and metabolic functionality of biofilm

Pauliina Rajala, Leena Carpen, Mikko Vepsäläinen, Mari Raulio, Malin Bomberg

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference articleScientificpeer-review


Low and intermediate level nuclear waste composed mainly of carbon and stainless steel produced during operation, maintenance and decommissioning of nuclear power plants is disposed of in underground repository, which will be exposed to groundwater. The corrosive effect of groundwater and microbes naturally occurring in groundwater on carbon and stainless steel is assumed to be decreased, when pH of the groundwater has increased due to its contact with the concrete of the repository silos. Nevertheless, after one-year exposure to the repository environment, including the alkaline effect of concrete, the formation of biofilm on the steel surfaces was not completely inhibited, but mainly slowed down. According to weight loss determinations the presence of concrete clearly diminished the corrosion rates of carbon steel at least in the early stages of biofilm formation. No corrosion or biofilm were detected on the surfaces of stainless steel. Our results demonstrate that especially methylotrophic bacteria of the α-proteobacterial clade play a main role in the initial biofilm formation under repository conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventAnnual Waste Management Symposia, WM2014 - Phoenix, United States
Duration: 2 Mar 20146 Mar 2014


ConferenceAnnual Waste Management Symposia, WM2014
Abbreviated titleWM2014
CountryUnited States


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