A stress corrosion cracking (SCC) model has been adapted for performance prediction of high level radioactive-waste packages to be emplaced in the proposed Yucca Mountain radioactive-waste repository. SCC is one form of environmentally assisted cracking resulting from the presence of three factors: metallurgical susceptibility, critical environment, and tensile stresses. For waste packages of the proposed Yucca Mountain repository, the outer barrier material is the highly corrosion-resistant Alloy UNS-N06022, the environment is represented by the water film present on the surface of the waste package from dripping or deliquescence of soluble salts present in any surface deposits, and the stress is principally the weld induced residual stress. SCC has historically been separated into “initiation” and “propagation” phases. Initiation of SCC will not occur on a smooth surface if the surface stress is below a threshold value defined as the threshold stress. Cracks can also initiate at and propagate from flaws (or defects) resulting from manufacturing processes (such as welding). To account for crack propagation, the slip dissolution/film rupture (SDFR) model is adopted to provide mathematical formulae for prediction of the crack growth rate. Once the crack growth rate at an initiated SCC is determined, it can be used by the performance assessment (not in the scope of this paper) to determine the time to through-wall penetration for the waste package. This paper presents the development and validation of the SDFR crack growth rate model based on technical information in the literature as well as experimentally determined crack growth rates developed specifically for Alloy UNS-N06022 in environments relevant to high level radioactive-waste packages of the proposed Yucca Mountain radioactive-waste repository.

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