Investigation of structure and composition control over active dissolution of Fe-Tc binary metallic waste forms by off-lattice kinetic Monte Carlo simulation

CD Taylor and XY Liu, JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MATERIALS, 434, 382-388 (2013).

DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2012.11.039

In this paper we develop and apply an atomistic framework for predicting the corrosion tendencies of metallic waste forms that are based on the iron-technetium (Fe-Tc) binary system. These elements were selected due to their importance for the development of metal alloy waste forms for fission product disposition. A kinetic Monte Carlo model based on an off-lattice, modified embedded atom method (MEAM) representation of the Fe-Tc binary system was applied to understand and predict the corrosion behavior of Fe-Tc alloys, as a function of structure (phase and surface- orientation) and composition. During active dissolution, metal atoms are in the free-corrosion state, in which there is a bare metal surface exposed to the environment. The Bronsted-Evans-Polanyi relationship was applied to link atomic cohesive energies, as evaluated using the parameterized MEAM potential, to activation barriers for dissolution. The active dissolution scenario may occur in situations where the passive film has either not formed, is electrochemically unstable, or has been damaged due to the application of stress or pitting attack. Our simulations of the active dissolution process suggest that the corrosion of candidate alloy waste forms will be highly sensitive to Tc loading, as well as phase selection. Hexagonally close-packed alloys are predicted to have lower corrosion rates compared to body-centered cubic. Similarly, ordered structures appear to have a stronger corrosion resistance than randomly dispersed alloys. Finally, our results indicate an optimal loading of Tc in the alloy, which is consistent with electrochemical corrosion experiments. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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