Degradation of weldability in neutron irradiated austenitic stainless steel is an important issue to be addressed in the planning of proactive maintenance of light water reactor core internals. In this work, samples selected from reactor internal components which had been irradiated to fluence from 8.5 × 1022 to 1.4 × 1026 n/m2 (E > 1 MeV) corresponding to helium content from 0.11 to 103 appm, respectively, were subjected to tungsten inert gas arc (TIG) welding with heat input ranged 0.6-16 kJ/cm. The weld defects were characterized by penetrant test and cross-sectional metallography. The integrity of the weld was better when there were less helium and at lower heat input. Tensile properties of weld joint containing 0.6 appm of helium fulfilled the requirement for unirradiated base metal. Repeated thermal cycles were found to be very hazardous. The results showed the combination of material helium content and weld heat input where materials can be welded with little concern to invite cracking. Also, the importance of using properly selected welding procedures to minimize thermal cycling was recognized.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Materials Science(all)
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering