Nuclear power plants have been operated for fifty years. Currently the managements of spent fuel are on progress vigorously. Casks for transportation and/or storage of spent nuclear fuel are usually made of SA350 low alloy steels. The wall thickness of the casks are greater than 300mm. But because leakage of nuclear fuel or radioactive material from unexpected brittle fracture is not acceptable, Nil-ductility transition temperatures of colder than −150°F are needed. The effects of chemical composition and heat treatment on low temperature impact properties of SA350 are investigated in this study. The microstructure of SA350 steel is composed of ferrite and pearlite. The variations of microstructure, low temperature impact properties and strength at room temperature with carbon, vanadium and manganese content are analyzed. To improve the low temperature impact properties, heat treatment at an temperature between quenching and tempering temperature is introduced. With the optimum combination of alloying elements and heat treatment, the impact properties can be improved down to the level of nil-ductility transition temperature −150°F.

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