The paper deals with the conditional release of low-level radioactive steel from decommissioning in a form of reinforced concrete. The main goal was to determine limits for radionuclides concentration and calculate the annual dose for a member of a critical group of public, which should not exceed 10 μSv/year (according to IAEA Safety Guide RS-G-1.7). Corrosion is the principle mechanism of radionuclides release in this case; therefore effort was devoted to assess the time-dependent rate of steel reinforcement corrosion. It was assumed, that concrete is initially highly alkaline (with pH of 12 to 13) because of hydration products such as calcium hydroxide, which keeps the steel surface passive and protected from corrosion. However, carbonic acid resulting from carbon dioxide and water in the atmosphere can react with these products to produce calcium carbonate. This process is referred to as a “carbonation”, and leads after a period of time to significant reduction of the alkalinity (to pH as low as 8.5) followed by destruction of passive layer and starting corrosion of the embedded steel. The analytical principles and a set of input data have been implemented into a mathematical model developed by means of GoldSim software. The paper presents the results of mathematical simulation of corrosion process, which are compared with real measured values.

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