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Flux effect on RPV materials
Ulbricht, A.;
The effect of neutron flux on the irradiation-induced microstructure and mechanical behaviour is one of the still open issues for the scientific community both for RPV steels and internals. In the case of RPV steels, more and statistically more reliable microstructural data are needed, in particular for low-Cu RPV steels irradiated up to high fluence. Within SOTERIA, suitable pairs of low-Cu RPV steels irradiated at different flux up to the same levels of fluence were identified.
This deliverable D2.1 reports about the effect of neutron flux on the neutron-irradiation-induced microstructure of RPV base and weld materials. The main methods applied are small-angle neutron scattering (SANS), positron lifetime spectroscopy (PAS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atom probe tomography (APT).
Using these methods, a number of different kinds of irradiation-induced nanofeatures were detected. These comprise dislocation loops, vacancies, sub-nm vacancy clusters, solute atom clusters and segregated dislocations. Loops are insufficient in number density and vacancy clusters are too small to contribute significantly to the irradiation-induced changes of the mechanical properties, but play a role in the overall evolution of the irradiated microstructures. Solute atom clusters are decisive for irradiation hardening.
SANS and APT indicate a common trend that an increasing flux gives rise to smaller sizes and higher number densities of solute atom clusters. APT additionally shows that the clusters are more dilute at higher flux. The counteracting effects of flux on size and number density of solute atom clusters partly compensate each other and, therefore, rationalize the relative insensitivity of the mechanical properties to the neutron flux.
Keywords: reactor pressure vessel steel, low Cu, microstructure, neutron irradiation, flux effect, vacancy/solute cluster
  • Lecture (others)
    SOTERIA Final Workshop, 25.-27.06.2019, Miraflores de la Sierra, Spain

Publ.-Id: 29439 - Permalink