Volume 5, Issue 1 (January 2008)
Microstructure Evolution in Zr Alloys during Irradiation: Dose, Dose Rate, and Impurity Dependence
The performance of zirconium alloys in BWR, PWR, and PHWR nuclear reactors is dependent on the microstructure. Accordingly, the characterization of the microstructure is an integral part of any study conducted to develop models for in-reactor performance. Although the as-fabricated microstructure (texture, grain size, dislocation density, and phase or precipitate distribution) determines the basic physical properties of a given component, there are changes that occur during irradiation that can have a significant effect on these properties. Microstructures that illustrate specific features of the radiation damage that forms in Zr alloys will be illustrated and discussed in terms of the dose, dose rate, and impurity factors that are applicable.