This paper describes the initial results of a development program to use electrochemical noise for corrosion monitoring in underground storage tanks containing high-level radioactive liquid waste. Corrosion and tank integrity are major issues concerning worker and environmental safety. This waste was generated from nuclear fuel reprocessing activities at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL). The INEEL waste is both acidic and is stored in stainless steel tanks, which differentiate it from other Department of Energy storage sites. The INEEL is presently removing tanks from service, but the process will not be complete until 2012. The initial test results show that a simulant solution chemistry that models one of the tank environments will cause pit initiation of welded and non-welded 304L stainless steel electrodes. This result is in agreement with observations of corrosion test coupons that were removed from the waste tanks.
Keywords: Electrochemical Noise, stainless steel, high-level waste, Department of Energy, pitting corrosion, weld