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The problem of intergranular stress-corrosion cracking (IGSCC) in boiling water reactor (BWR) piping is discussed and the body of work undertaken in the author's laboratory to solve that problem is described. Particular attention is given to the development of electrical potential crack monitoring techniques and their application to surface crack growth, particularly under conditions approaching those found in service. The important role of water chemistry and its control is described in this context.
The concept and description of sensors to monitor in situ the degree of damage containment from intergranular stress-corrosion cracking is then described, with reference to use in piping components and other types of monitoring.
Finally, a concept for the life management of structures is described where damage processes are identified and monitored in situ using appropriate sensors to measure the damage rate continuously. In conjunction with damage monitoring, an applicable life prediction model is used to forecast the future damage state and to assist in the decision process for appropriate required actions to optimize plant operation.
fatigue, fatigue crack growth, life prediction, fracture mechanics
Research staff member, Corporate Research and Development, General Electric Co., Schenectady, NY