Prolonged exposure of cast austenitic stainless steels (CASS) to reactor coolant operating temperatures has been shown to lead to some degree of thermal aging embrittlement (reduction in fracture toughness of the material as a function of time). The fracture toughness data for the most severely aged CASS materials were found to be similar to those reported for some austenitic stainless steel weld metal, in particular weld metal from submerged arc welds (SAW). Such similarity offers the possibility for applying periodic inservice inspection flaw acceptance criteria, currently referenced in the ASME Code Section XI, Subsection IWB, for SAW and shielded metal arc weld (SMAW), to CASS component inservice inspection results. This paper presents the data to support both the proposed screening criteria (based on J-R crack growth resistance) for evaluation of the potential significance of the effects of thermal aging embrittlement for Class 1 reactor coolant system and primary pressure boundary CASS components, for those situations where the effects of thermal aging embrittlement are found to be potentially significant. The fitness for continued service is based on the comparison of the limiting fracture toughness data for Type 316 SAW welds and the lower-bound fracture toughness data reported for high-molybdenum, high delta-ferrite, statically and centrifugally-cast CASS materials. These comparisons and the associated flaw acceptance criteria can be used to justify exemptions from current ASME Code Section XI inservice inspection requirements through flaw tolerance evaluation (e.g., see ASME Nuclear Code Case N-481).

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