The fracture behaviour of low-alloy reactor pressure vessel steels with various sulphur and phosphorus contents, different environmentally-assisted cracking (EAC)and temper embrittlement (TE)susceptibilities was evaluated by elastic plastic fracture mechanics tests in air and various simulated light water reactors environments. A moderate but clear reduction of fracture initiation resistance occurred in a)high-sulphur steel with high EAC susceptibility in oxygenated high-temperature water with aggressive occluded crevice environment and preceding EAC growth, and in b)high-phosphorus steel with high TE susceptibility, where the reduction of fracture resistance was most pronounced in hydrogenated high-temperature water.
- Environmentally-assisted cracking
- Fracture resistance
- Hydrogen embrittlement
- Low alloy steel
- Temper embrittlement