Many pressurized water reactor (PWR) plants have used weld overlays to mitigate the pressurizer dissimilar metal welds that are susceptible to primary water stress corrosion cracking (PWSCC). These configurations typically consist of SA-508 Class 2 low alloy steel welded to a stainless steel safe end by Alloy 82/182 weld metal. The overlay weld metal is typically Alloy 52M. In a few cases, solidification cracking (hot cracking) has been observed on the stainless steel portion of the configuration when the first weld overlay layer is deposited. To overcome this problem, a process consisting of deposition of ER308L or ER309L stainless steel buffer layer for the first layer in conjunction with a low Power Ratio welding procedure has been developed and applied successfully. The Alloy 52M weld overlay is then deposited after the buffer layer. This paper discusses the causes of the hot cracking and test programs to develop the parameters for the welding of the buffer layer and subsequent weld overlay layers. In addition the results of analysis performed to determine the impact of the buffer layer on the post weld overlay residual stresses are also discussed.

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