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Corrosion Resistant Cladding by YAG Laser Welding in Underwater Environment

[+] Author Affiliations
Tsutomu Kochi, Toshio Kojima, Suemi Hirata, Ichiro Morita, Katsura Ohwaki

Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Company, Ltd., Yokohama, Japan

Paper No. ICONE10-22327, pp. 85-107; 23 pages
  • 10th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • 10th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering, Volume 1
  • Arlington, Virginia, USA, April 14–18, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3595-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3589-8
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


It is known that stress-corrosion cracking (SCC) will occur in nickel-base alloys used in Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) and Internals of nuclear power plants. A SCC sensitivity has been evaluated by IHI in each part of RPV and Internals. There are several water level instrumentation nozzles installed in domestic BWR RPV. In water level instrumentation nozzles, 182 type nickel-base alloys were used for the welding joint to RPV. It is estimated the SCC potential is high in this joint because of a higher residual stress than the yield strength (about 400MPa). This report will describe a preventive maintenance method to these nozzles Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) and welds by a corrosion resistant cladding (CRC) by YAG Laser in underwater environment (without draining a reactor water). There are many kinds of countermeasures for SCC, for example, Induction Heating Stress Improvement (IHSI), Mechanical Stress Improvement Process (MSIP) and so on. A YAG laser CRC is one of them. In this technology a laser beam is used for heat source and irradiated through an optical fiber to a base metal and SCC resistant material is used for welding wires. After cladding the HAZ and welds are coated by the corrosion resistant materials so their surfaces are improved. A CRC by gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) in an airenvironment had been developed and already applied to a couple of operating plants (16 Nozzles). This method was of course good but it spent much time to perform because of an installation of some water-proof working boxes to make a TIG-weldability environment. CRC by YAG laser welding in underwater environment has superior features comparing to this conventional TIG method as follows. At the viewpoint of underwater environment, (1) an outage term reduction (no drainage water). (2) a radioactive exposure dose reduction for personnel. At that of YAG laser welding, (1) A narrower HAZ. (2) A smaller distortion. (3) A few cladding layers. A YAG laser CRC test in underwater environment was carried out in the different welding position, horizontal, vertical upward and downward. The soundness of cladding layers (about 3 mm) is confirmed in visual and penetration test, and cross section observation. In the application to the actual plants, it is preferable to reduce the start and end point numbers of beads with which a defect is easy to cause. Therefore a special welding equipment for a YAG laser CRC that could weld continuously was developed.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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