Dissimilar metal welds of filler metal 182 (ENiCrFe-3) in the primary loop of pressurized water reactor (PWR) nuclear plants are susceptible to primary water stress corrosion cracking (PWSCC) after decades of service. Repair or mitigation has been routinely accomplished by installing a structural weld overlay (SWOL) on the filler metal 182 weld joint with the more PWSCC resistant filler metal 52M (ERNiCrFe-7A). The typical dissimilar metal joint consists of a low alloy steel vessel nozzle welded to an austenitic stainless steel safe end. The SWOL extends from the low alloy steel nozzle over the safe end and most often onto the adjoining wrought or cast stainless steel pipe. Field experience shows that filler metal 52M is susceptible to hot cracking when welding on certain heats of centrifugally cast stainless steel piping. This report evaluates 52M hot cracking when welding on CASS piping and provides the likely cause and mechanism for the cracking. The synergistic influence of silicon (Si) and sulfur (S) elements on the weld bead shape and dilution that leads to hot cracking is investigated. In addition, studies on the influence and use of the gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) power ratio parameter for 52M overlays are presented.

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