Susceptibility to underclad cracking in nuclear reactor vessel steels, such as SA533 Grade B Class 1 and SA508 Class 2, was studied in detail. A convenient simulation test method using simulated HAZ specimens of small size has been developed for quantitative evaluation of susceptibility to underclad cracks. The method can predict precisely the cracking behavior in weldments of steels with relative low crack susceptibility. The effect of chemical compositions on susceptibility to the cracking was examined systematically using the developed simulation test method and the following index was obtained from the test results:  
U=20[V]+7[C]+4[Mo]+[Cr]
 
+[Cu]0.5[Mn]+1.5log[X]
 
X=Al..Al/2N1
 
X=2N..Al/2N>1
It was confirmed that the new index (U) is useful for the prediction of crack susceptibility of the nuclear vessel steels; i.e., no crack initiation is detected in weldments in the roller bend test for steels having U value below 0.90.
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