Volume 2, Issue 9 (October 2005)
Effects of Proton Irradiation on Reactor Pressure Vessel Steel and Its Model Alloys
Effects of proton irradiation on the reactor pressure vessel steel (RPVS), A533B cl. 1 have been investigated by means of positron lifetime and Vickers hardness measurement in comparison with those of the iron-copper model alloys. The specimens were irradiated with 1 MeV proton up to a fluence of 3 × 1017 ions/cm2 (0.2 dpa, displacement per atom, at a peak) at temperature below 80°C. The recovery behavior of the irradiation effects was also investigated during isochronal annealing for 30 min with a 25°C step from 100°C to 650°C. By positron annihilation technique, it was recognized that microvoids, which consist of about 5 vacancies with the number density of the order of 1016 /cm3, were formed by the irradiation. The number of microvoids decreased after a low temperature annealing and completely annihilated at 250°C, although irradiation hardening still remained. A large portion of the hardening recovered by the annealing up to 300°C and almost annealed out at 450°C. Irradiation response and its recovery behavior of A533B RPVS were discussed compared to the result of Fe-based model alloys.