With the recent occurrences of primary water stress corrosion cracking (PWSCC) at nickel-based dissimilar metal welds (specifically Alloy 82/182 welds) in the nation’s pressurized water reactors (PWRs), the commercial nuclear power industry has been proposing a number of mitigation strategies for dealing with the problem. Some of these methods include Mechanical Stress Improvement Process (MSIP), Full and Optimized Structural Weld Overlay (FSWOL, OWOL) and Inlay and Onlay welds. All of these methods provide either a reduction in the ID residual stress field, (MSIP and WOL) and/or apply a corrosion resistant layer to stop or retard a leak path from forming (WOL, Inlay, Onlay). For the larger bore pipe, i.e. hot leg outlet nozzle, methods such as FSWOL become cost prohibitive due to the amount of weld metal that must be deposited. Therefore, inlay welds are being proposed since only a small layer (3 weld beads) needs to be deposited on the inside surface of the pipe. Currently the ASME code is developing Code Case N-766 ‘Nickel Alloy Reactor Coolant Inlay and Cladding for Repair or Mitigation of PWR Full Penetration Circumferential Nickel Alloy Welds in Class 1 Items.’ This code case is documenting the procedures for applying these inlay welds. As part of a confirmatory analysis, the US NRC staff and its contractor, Engineering Mechanics Corporation of Columbus, (Emc2) have conducted both welding residual stress and flaw evaluation analyses to determine the effectiveness of inlay welds as a mitigative technique. This paper presents the ongoing results from this effort. Using several large bore geometries, detailed welding simulation analyses were conducted on the procedures set forth in draft Code Case N-766. Effects of weld repairs and temper bead welding are included. Using these residual stress results, PWSCC growth analyses were conducted using simulated crack growth rates as a function of chromium content to estimate the time to leakage and rupture for small initial flaws in the inlay. The paper concludes with discussions on the effectiveness of inlays based on these analyses.

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