Stress-Corrosion Cracking of Alloy X-750 Jet Pump Beams
Jet pumps, which have no moving parts, provide a continuous circulation path for a major portion of the core coolant flow in a boiling water reactor. Part of the pump is held in place by a beam-and-bolt assembly, wherein the beam is preloaded by the bolt. The Alloy X-750 beams had been heat treated by heating at 885 deg C (1625 deg F) for 24 h and aging at 705 deg C (1300 deg F) for 20 h. Jet pump beams were found to have failed in two nuclear reactors, and other beams were found to be cracked. Investigation (visual inspection, metallurgical examination, tension testing, and simulated service testing in oxygenated water) supported the conclusion that intergranular SCC under sustained bending loading was responsible for the failure. The location of the cracking was consistent with the results of stress analysis of the part. Recommendations included either replacing the beams, reheat treatment, or preload reduction.