Sixth CorroZoom Season 3 Webinar- Rebecca Schaller



Sixth CorroZoom Season 3 Webinar - Rebecca Schaller

31 May 2023 at 0800 US Eastern



Pitting and Cracking of Stainless Steel Relevant to Dry Storage Casks for Spent Nuclear Fuel


Rebecca Schaller

Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Webinar Recording




In the U.S., spent nuclear fuel (SNF) is currently stored for long-term interim storage in welded stainless steel canisters enclosed in passively ventilated concrete overpacks. Over time, dust accumulates on the canister surfaces, and as the canisters cool, salts within the dust can deliquesce to form potentially corrosive brines. In weld regions with high residual stresses, the potential exists for chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking (SCC) to occur. Understanding the risk of when and where canister SCC could occur is critical to demonstrating the safety of long-term dry storage of SNF. This talk will review some of the work carried out by our group and collaborators to establish a holistic understanding of the SCC process relevant to canister environments, including: (i) incubation time to establish a corrosive environment, (ii) the corrosion damage as a function of environment and material, (iii) the potential influences on crack initiation, (iv) crack growth rates as a function of environment and material, and (v) the development and testing of repair and mitigation strategies.


SNL is managed and operated by NTESS under DOE NNSA contract DE-NA0003525. This document is SAND2023-01786O.



Rebecca Schaller is a principal member of the technical staff in the Materials Reliability Group at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM. While earning her Ph.D. at the University of Virginia (2016), she received an Endeavour Research Fellowship with Monash University and CSIRO. She then spent 2 years as a postdoctoral appointee at Sandia National Laboratories, followed by an assistant professorship position at the University of British Columbia prior to returning to SNL. Her work focuses on developing techniques to analyze corrosion at the local scale and extrapolate to the macroscopic level, improving real-world degradation predictions. Specifically, Rebecca has been involved with the Spent Fuel Waste Storage and Transportation program at SNL in which she focuses determining the potential for chloride induced stress corrosion cracking (CISCC) under canister-relevant conditions. She was selected for the 2018 Electrochemical Society Morris Cohen Corrosion Division Graduate Student Award and the 2022 Sandia Postdoc Development Distinguished Mentor Award.