Stress corrosion cracking (SCC) may occur when chloride-bearing salts and/or dust deliquesce on the external surface of the spent nuclear fuel (SNF) canister at weld residual stress regions. An SCC growth rate test is developed using instrumented bolt-load compact tension specimens (ASTM E1681) with experimental apparatus that allows an initially dried salt to deliquesce and infuse naturally to the crack front under temperature and humidity parameters relevant to the canister storage environmental conditions. Characterization of initial shakedown tests was performed to determine a more extensive matrix of testing to provide bounding conditions in which cracking will occur. The test specimen and apparatus designs were modified to enhance the interaction between the deliquescing salt and the crack front for more accurate crack growth rate measurement as a function of stress intensity factor, temperature and relative humidity which is an essential input to the determination of in service inspection frequency of SNF canisters. Testing was conducted over a range of relative humidity controlled by the guidance in ASTM E104 from ambient temperature to 50 °C with salt assemblages of ASTM simulated sea salt. After three months exposure in prototypic dried sea salt, the specimens will be examined for evidence of chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking (CISCC) and observations are reported for a range of relative humidity and temperature conditions. The above testing attempts to provide a technical basis for the boiler pressure vessel (BPV) Section XI code case N-860.

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