Published: Jan 1983
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The contribution of irradiation creep to reactor component deformation can be significant, and in many cases it may be the primary source of deformation. The effective accommodation or control of this deformation mode through design, fabrication, or operating procedures or all three requires a knowledge of the functional dependence of irradiation creep on both metallurgical and environmental variables such as cold work, texture, neutron flux, stress, temperature, and time. Moreover, in reconciling these dependences and in anticipating the nature of irradiation creep in parametric regimes beyond those for which experimental and operational data exist, an understanding of the physical processes or mechanisms that give rise to irradiation creep is requisite. Consequently, a full discussion is provided here of irradiation creep in zirconium alloys with particular emphasis on the characteristics of the phenomenon, its observed dependence on material variables and test and operating conditions, and the current theoretical understanding of irradiation creep as it applies to zirconium.