An assessment of the potential effects of phosphate ions on cementitious materials was made through a review of the literature, contacts with concrete research personnel, and conduct of a “bench-scale” laboratory investigation [1]. The objectives of this limited study were to: (1) review the potential for degradation of cementitious materials due to exposure to high concentrations of phosphate ions; (2) provide an improved understanding of any significant factors that may lead to a requirement to establish exposure limits for concrete structures exposed to soils or ground waters containing high levels of phosphate ions; (3) recommend, as appropriate, whether a limitation on phosphate ion concentration in soils or ground water is required to avoid degradation of concrete structures; and (4) provide a “primer” on factors that can affect the durability of concrete materials and structures in nuclear power plants. Results of a literature review, contacts with industry personnel, and a laboratory investigation indicate that no harmful interactions occur between phosphate ions and cementitious materials unless phosphates are present in form of phosphoric acid. Relative to the “primer,” NUREG/CR-6927, published in February 2007, provides a review of pertinent factors that can affect the durability of nuclear power plant reinforced concrete structures.

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