Inconel 600 is an austenitic Ni-Cr-Fe alloy which is extensively used for tubing in steam generators of pressurized light water reactors (PWR) and CANDU heavy water reactors, because of its excellent mechanical properties and corrosion resistance. However, there have been instances of intergranular stress corrosion cracking of tubes in operating steam generators. The chemistry and the structure of grain boundaries and grain boundary precipitation have emerged as factors of prime importance in understanding stress corrosion cracking and intergranular attack of nickel-base alloys (see e.g. ref. l).
In this study analytical electron microscopy was used to determine the microstructure of grain boundary and matrix precipitates, grain boundary chromium content and dislocation substructure of selected steam generating tubes of CANDU reactors. The results of the in-service materials are compared with as-received material. Two JEOL 2010 STEM instruments were used in this study.