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RSCS has designed a Salt-in-Air Monitor to Study Chloride-Induced Stress Corrosion Cracking of Austenitic Stainless Steel within Dry Cask Storage Canisters
Posted on December 6th, 2012

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has recently issued the following Information notice on chloride-induced Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC):


NRC Information Notice (IN) 2012-20: “Potential Chloride-Induced Stress Corrosion Cracking of Austenitic Stainless Steel and Maintenance of Dry Cask Storage System Canisters” – Nov 14, 2012.


In this notice, the NRC states that the deposition mechanisms of salt onto austenitic stainless steel surfaces of fuel canisters are not well understood. However, several specific environmental and structural conditions have been identified that may initiate stress corrosion cracking (SCC) once sodium chloride has been deposited on surfaces, i.e. humidity, temperature and tensile stresses. They further state that this type of corrosion cracking has been observed at several coastal sites involving other stainless-steel components (i.e. non-fuel related) but raise the possibility that similar environmental conditions at non-coastal sites due to proximities to cooling tower effluents and road salting operations may exist.


Collecting baseline information about the environmental conditions, including salt-air exposure may be invaluable information as this science is better understood in the next few years and may help assess whether storage canisters are at risk for chloride-induced SCC.


To help address this issue, RSCS has designed an air sampler and the analytical methods to quantify the long-term concentration of salt in air, as well as site environmental conditions, at a particular location. RSCS can support fabrication, deployment, training and or servicing of the monitoring equipment anywhere within the US. For more information on this technology contact the project services department at RSCS at:



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