Irradiation Assisted Stress Corrosion Cracking (IASCC)
Irradiation assisted stress corrosion cracking (IASCC) is a potential failure mode suffered by the core-components of austenitic stainless steels in the aged light-water reactor (LWR), which is the intergranular type cracking caused by synergistic effects of neutron/gamma radiation and chemical environment. Effects of radiation on the materials and high-temperature water are discussed in this paper to understand IASCC phenomenon from a mechanistic viewpoint. It is essential to elucidate the radiation-induced micro-compositional and microstructural changes in the alloy for mechanistic and predictive investigations of IASCC. Although grain boundary segregations of alloying and impurity elements are significant factors affecting IASCC, it has been considered that the radiation-induced microstructural and mechanical changes of materials play critical roles in IASCC. For mechanistic understanding of IASCC, further fundamental research works with experimental and theoretical approaches are needed. Efforts directed to the researches at the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute are also described.