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A section of type 304 stainless steel pipe from a stand by system used for emergency injection of cooling water to a nuclear reactor failed during precommissioning. Leaking occurred in only one spot. Liquid penetrant testing revealed a narrow circumferential crack. Metallographic examination of the cracked area indicated stress-corrosion cracking, which had originated at rusted areas that had formed on longitudinal scratch marks on the outer surface of the pipe. The material was free from sensitization, and there was no significant amount of cold work. It was recommended that the stainless steel be kept rust free.

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P. Muraleedharan, J.B. Gnanamoorthy, Stress-Corrosion Cracking in a Stainless Steel Emergency Injection Pipe in a Nuclear Reactor, Handbook of Case Histories in Failure Analysis, Vol 2, Edited By Khlefa A. Esaklul, ASM International, 1993, p 225–226,

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