In Sweden, high-level radioactive waste will be disposed of in a canister with a copper outer container and a cast iron or carbon steel insert. If the iron insert comes into contact with anoxic geological water, anaerobic corrosion leading to the generation of hydrogen will occur. This paper presents a study of the anaerobic corrosion of carbon steel and cast iron in artificial Swedish granitic groundwaters. Gas collection techniques were used to assess the mechanisms and rates of corrosion and the associated hydrogen gas production over a range of conditions. The corrosion rate was high initially but was anodically limited by the slow formation of a duplex magnetite (Fe3O4) film. The effects of key environmental parameters such as temperature and ionic strength on the anaerobic corrosion rate are discussed.
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