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4. Materials Ageing – Intergranular Stress Corrosion Cracking

Following a preliminary assessment of the relative importance of the various ageing mechanisms experienced by materials used in European nuclear power plants (NPPs), the primary purpose of this synthesis report is to deliver a coherent and comprehensive review of research into intergranular stress corrosion cracking (IGSCC) performed during Euratom Framework Programmes 4, 5, 6 and 7, linking the research to the related projects, reports, materials and components.

To ensure a consistent treatment of a given ageing mechanism and across different ageing mechanisms, consideration is given to the research outputs from Euratom projects that meet the following criteria:

  • Sufficiently detailed information exists regarding materials and conditions of experiments or simulations;
  • The materials in the experiments or simulations correspond to those used in operating European NPPs or in NPPs under construction;
  • The conditions investigated correspond to the operating conditions of European NPPs.

While the findings of FP7 projects such as PERFORM60 and STYLE have been taken into account, the amount of available outputs from these projects – especially in the case of PERFORM60 – is limited. Thus, the larger proportion of research to which consideration has been given in this synthesis report originates from Euratom FP4, FP5 and FP6. Further, in view of the limited research into IGSCC undertaken during the Euratom Framework Programmes, this synthesis report also takes into consideration materials technology and standardization projects of EC RTD FP4 and FP5. Where appropriate, reference is also made to IAEA TecDocs and external reports coming from international research programmes.