We are experts in electrochemistry and corrosion science. The group is led by David Shoesmith, an NSERC/Nuclear Waste Management Organization IRC in Nuclear Fuel and Waste Container Corrosion Under Waste Disposal Management Conditions Industrial Research Chair at The University of Western Ontario.
The group is investigating various industrial corrosion and environmental contamination problems encompassing a range of detailed electrochemical, chemical, metallurgical and transport reactions that make up complex materials and corrosion processes. Besides novel experimental techniques, the group uses computational modeling approaches from detailed deterministic process models to statistical/probabilistic and environmental performance assessment models. Our primary research areas are:
- electrochemistry and corrosion science
- performance assessment and process models
- thin films and materials degradation
- nuclear waste storage and disposal
At the moment, the group’s main research focus is waste containers and waste forms to find solutions for the disposal of high level nuclear wastes using a combination of experimental and modeling approaches. Some of these approaches involve applying electrochemical techniques, often under hostile conditions such as in very hot, harsh environments.
The researchers in the lab are designing a system for the long-term storage of nuclear waste. Their aim is to construct barriers that remain intact long enough to allow radioactivity to decay to a non-toxic level. One approach is to encase the waste in multiple barriers to ensure that the entire system does not fail.
The group is working on numerous projects, some of which include:
- Chemistry of nuclear fuel under Canadian waste disposal conditions
- Carbon steel corrosion in carbonate/chloride/sulphate solutions
- Modeling the distribution of acidity within nuclear fuel corrosion product deposits
- Kinetics of copper corrosion in aqueous sulphide solutions
- Characterization of the corrosion scenarios on the Trans-Canada pipelines
- In-situ electrochemistry neutron reflectometry
The group employs various electrochemical and in-situ/ex-situ surface analytical techniques such as XPS, TOF SIMS, Raman spectroscopy, SECM and neutron reflectometry. The lab is outfitted with highly specialized equipment for a wide range of electrochemical measurements such as voltammetry, potentiometry, chronocoulometry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The group also uses other state-of-the-art instruments such as a photoelectrochemistry system, an EQCM, an Olympus IX70 inverted microscope and a hydrogen analyzer.