Stress Corrosion Cracking of Nuclear Transmutation Structural Materials

Document Type



The disposal of high-level radioactive waste poses a severe challenge to all nuclear power-generating nations. The transmutation of nuclear waste, which is used in Europe, has been proposed for use in the U.S. to eliminate long-lived actinides and fission products from spent nuclear fuel. This article presents the results of stress corrosion cracking studies performed in neutral and acidic solutions at ambient and elevated temperatures, using both constant-load and slow-strain-rate testing techniques on martensitic alloys EP-823 and HT-9, and type 422 stainless steel (UNS S42200). Any of these alloys can act as a structural material to contain the molten lead-bismuth eutectic target, which also can be used as a coolant during the transmutation process. This article also discusses the extent and morphology of failures, as analyzed by optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.


Martensitic stainless steel; Radioactive wastes – Transmutation; Spent reactor fuels; Strains and stresses; Stress corrosion


Materials Science and Engineering | Mechanical Engineering | Mechanics of Materials | Metallurgy | Nuclear Engineering


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