The effect of the neutron flux at high fluence on the microstructural and hardness changes of reactor pressure vessel (RPV) steels was investigated in succession to the previous study . An accelerated test reactor irradiation of copper containing RPV materials, previously irradiated in commercial reactors, was carried out at the lowest possible neutron fluxes in order to obtain neutron fluences up to approximately 1×1020 n/cm2 (E>1MeV). State-of-the-art experimental techniques such as three-dimensional atom probe were applied to carry out advanced quantitative characterization of defect features in the materials. Results for the same materials irradiated in both high and low flux conditions are compared. For neutron fluences above 6×1019 n/cm2 (E>1MeV) the difference in the neutron fluence dependence of the increase in hardness is not seen for any neutron flux condition. The number densities and the diameters of solute atom clusters for the low flux irradiation materials tend to be lower and larger, respectively, than that for the high flux irradiation materials, while the volume fraction of solute atom clusters increases linearly with increasing neutron fluence, and the effect of neutron flux is not significant. The component elements and the chemical composition of the solute atom clusters formed by irradiation for the same material do not change regardless of the neutron fluence and flux. The square root of the volume fraction of the solute atom clusters provides a good correlation with the increase in hardness.
- Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
Effect of Neutron Flux at High Fluence on Microstructural and Hardness Changes of RPV Steels
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Dohi, K, Nishida, K, Nomoto, A, Soneda, N, Matsuzawa, H, & Tomimatsu, M. "Effect of Neutron Flux at High Fluence on Microstructural and Hardness Changes of RPV Steels." Proceedings of the ASME 2010 Pressure Vessels and Piping Division/K-PVP Conference. ASME 2010 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference: Volume 9. Bellevue, Washington, USA. July 18–22, 2010. pp. 95-102. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/PVP2010-25514
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