United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

U.S. Operating Experience With Thermally Treated Alloy 600 Steam Generator Tubes (NUREG-1771)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: February 2003
Date Published: April 2003

Prepared by:
K. J. Karwoski

Division of Engineering
Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

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Abstract

Steam generators placed in service in the 1 960s and 1 970s had tubes primarily fabricated from mill-annealed Alloy 600. Over time, this material proved to be susceptible to stress corrosion cracking in the highly pure primary and secondary water chemistry environments of pressurized-water reactors. The corrosion ultimately led to the replacement of steam generators at numerous facilities, the first U.S. replacement occurring in 1980. Many of the steam generators placed into service in the 1980s used tubes fabricated from thermally treated Alloy 600. This tube material was thought to be less susceptible to corrosion. Because of the safety significance of steam generator tube integrity, this paper evaluates the operating experience of thermally treated Alloy 600 by looking at the extent to which it is used and results from steam generator tube examinations.

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