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Report No.
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Effects of oxidation states of Np on polarization curve of stainless steel in boiling 3M-HNO$$_{3}$$

Kato, Chiaki; Ueno, Fumiyoshi; Yamamoto, Masahiro; Ban, Yasutoshi ; Uchiyama, Gunzo; Nojima, Yasuo*; Fujine, Sachio*

Neptunium ion contained as one of the fission products in reprocessing solutions is known as a corrosion accelerator of the stainless steel. But it is not clear why remarkable acceleration of corrosion is caused by a slight amount of the Np ion in boiling nitric acid solution. Neptunium has several oxidation states in nitric acid solution. These changeable oxidation states of Np in nitric acid solution are regarded as the cause. Therefore an evaluation of the electrochemical behaviors on stainless steel in nitric acid solution related to the oxidation state of Np is required in order to understand the corrosion acceleration mechanism. A specially designed electrochemical test cell integrated with optical cell for spectroscopic analysis was used for this purpose. From results of electrochemical tests, cathodic reaction on stainless steel was activated by Np ions. Np(VI) ion made the corrosion potential shift nobler than Np(V) and nobler corrosion potential causes increasing corrosion current and accelerating corrosion of stainless steel in nitric acid solution. Np(V) was easily oxidized to Np(VI) in nitric acid solution and Np(VI) was the stable state in boiling 3M-HNO$$_{3}$$. It was considered that role of Np ions was that of mediator to accelerate corrosion due to activating cathodic reaction and re-oxidizing cycle in boiling 3M-HNO$$_{3}$$.

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