Environmentally Assisted Cracking in Light Water Reactors: Semiannual Report, January 1999 – June 1999 (NUREG/CR-4667, Volume 28)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: January 2000
Date Published: July 2000

Prepared by:
0. K. Chopra, H. M. Chung, E. E. Gruber
T. F. Kassner, W. E. Ruther, W. J. Shack
J. L. Smith, W. K. Soppert, R.V. Strain

Argonne National Laboratory
9700 South Cass Avenue
Argonne, IL 60439

M.B. McNeil, NRC Project Manager

Prepared for:
Division of Engineering Technology
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

NRC Job Code W6610

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This report summarizes work performed by Argonne National Laboratory on fatigue and environmentally assisted cracking (EAC) in light water reactors (LWRs) from January 1999 to June 1999. Topics that have been investigated include (a) environmental effects on fatigue S-N behavior of primary pressure boundary materials, (b) irradiation-assisted stress corrosion cracking (IASCC) of austenitic stainless steels (SSs), and (c) EAC of Alloys 600 and 690. Fatigue tests have been conducted to study the effects of water chemistry on the fatigue life of austenitic SSs in LWR environments. Existing fatigue S-N data have been evaluated to establish the effects of temperature, dissolved oxygen, and strain rate on the fatigue life of these steels. Slow-strain- rate tensile tests and posttest fractographic analyses were conducted on several model SS alloys irradiated to ≈0.9 x 1021 n.cm-2 (E > I MeV) in He at 289°C in the Halden reactor. The results have been used to determine the influence of alloying and impurity elements on the susceptibility of these steels to IASCC. Fracture toughness J-R curve tests were also conducted on two heats of Type 304 SS that were irradiated to ≈0.3 and 0.9 x 1021 n.cm-2 in the Halden reactor. Crack-growth-rate tests have been conducted on compact-tension specimens of Alloy 690 under cyclic loading to evaluate the enhancement of crack growth rates of these alloys in LWR environments.

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