Failure of a Service Water Pump Shaft
A service water pump in a nuclear reactor failed when its shaft gave way. The fracture originated in the threaded portion of the sleeve nut on the drive-end side of the shaft. Results of the failure analysis showed that the cracking initiated at the thread root as a result of corrosion fatigue. Crack propagation occurred either by corrosion or mechanical fatigue. Evidence was found indicating high rotary bending stresses on the shaft during operation. The nonstandard composition of the En 8 steel used in the shaft and irregular maintenance reduced the life of the shaft. Recommendations included use of a case-hardened En 8 steel with the correct composition and regular maintenance of the pump.