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 using the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) specification E1681 with an 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. The shakedown tests were conducted over a range of relative humidity controlled by the guidance in ASTM E104 at 50 °C with salt assemblages of (1) mixture of artificial dust and deliquescent salts (2) a mixture of artificial dust and salt from dehydrated sea water. After five months exposure the specimens were examined for evidence of chloride induced stress corrosion cracking (CISCC) and observations are reported for both salt/dust mixtures. The test specimen and apparatus designs will be modified to enhance the interaction between the deliquescing salt and the crack front for more accurate characterization of the crack growth rate as a function of stress intensity factor, which is an essential input to the determination of in-service inspection frequency of SNF canisters.

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