Stress-Corrosion Cracking of an Inconel 600 Safe-End on a Reactor Nozzle
Cracking occurred in an ASME SB166 Inconel 600 safe-end forging on a nuclear reactor coolant water recirculation nozzle while it was in service. The safe-end was welded to a stainless-steel-clad carbon steel nozzle and a type 316 stainless steel transition metal pipe segment. An Inconel 600 thermal sleeve was welded to the safe-end, and a repair weld had obviously been made on the outside surface of the safe-end to correct a machining error. Initial visual examination of the safe-end disclosed that the cracking extended over approximately 85 deg of the circular circumference of the piece. Investigation (visual inspection, on-site radiographic inspection, limited ultrasonic inspection, chemical analysis, 53x metallographic cross sections and SEM images etched in 8:1 phosphoric acid) supported the conclusion that the cracking mechanism was intergranular SCC. No recommendations were made.