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    Use of Sapphire as a Neutron Damage Monitor for Pressure Vessel Steels

    Published: 01 January 1989

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    Single crystal α-Al2O3 (sapphire) has been neutron irradiated over a range of dose, dose rate and neutron energy spectra at temperatures from 60 to 310°C. Values of optical absorption at 400 nm, the peak of the aluminum vacancy absorption band, were plotted against damage dose expressed in terms of dpa of Al in sapphire obtained from measurements of induced radio-activity in activation foils irradiated with the sapphires and from calculation of the neutron energy spectrum at the irradiation position. The neutron energy spectrum was calculated using modern neutron transport computer codes and adjusted in the light of measurements obtained from multiple foil activation experiments. A simple response curve was obtained for all sapphires irradiated at temperatures between 220 to 310°C and for sapphires irradiated below 200°C which had been annealed at 29O°C irrespective of dose rate or neutron energy spectrum. The single response curve for irradiations performed in a variety of neutron energy spectra validate the neutron energy spectrum computational procedures and by the same token show that sapphire can be used as a damage monitor in situations where the neutron energy spectra are not well defined.


    pressure vessels, steels, neutrons, dosimetry, aluminum oxide (sapphire), neutron spectra, radiation damage

    Author Information:

    Pells, GP
    AERE, Harwell, Oxon,

    Fudge, AJ
    AERE, Harwell, Oxon,

    Murphy, MJ
    AERE, Harwell, Oxon,

    Watt, S
    RR&A Ltd., Derby,

    Committee/Subcommittee: E10.07

    DOI: 10.1520/STP10127S