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White Paper

Analysis of Detrimental Elements for Non-Metallic Materials Used in Nuclear Reactors

Corrosion-assisted cracking of stainless-steel components in nuclear reactors has been of concern for many years. Any non-metallic material, for example adhesives, sealants, gaskets, probes, plastic or rubber tubing, lubricants, cleaning supplies, or rags, used in a reactor might contain elements that assist corrosion if released by material degradation or by leaching into circulating water. Detrimental elements that have been identified by different companies and government agencies include chlorine, fluorine, bromine, sulphur, lead, bismuth, mercury, tin, antimony, arsenic, zinc, cadmium, phosphorus, and silver. 

These elements contribute to different corrosion mechanisms but they all may shorten the life of critical reactor components. Ensuring that non-metallic materials do not release these elements is important in minimising corrosion-related repairs and the associated downtime.

This white paper describes some of the analysis techniques used to measure the concentrations of these elements and provides some guidelines to aid in selecting a properly qualified materials testing laboratory to carry out the tests.

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