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    STP1597

    Temperature and Neutron Flux Dependence of In-Reactor Creep for Cold-Worked Zr-2.5Nb

    Published: 2018


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    Abstract

    Over the past 10 years, internally pressurized capsules made from Zr-2.5Nb tubing have been irradiated in the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor at Chalk River Laboratories at temperatures of 280, 320, and 340°C and dose rates between 3 × 1015 n · m−2 · s−1 and 2 × 1017 n · m−2 · s−1 (E > 1 MeV). Periodic gaging has been used to assess the primary and secondary (steady-state) creep behavior. The objective of this detailed and controlled experiment was to determine, for the first time, the creep and microstructure evolution in Zr-2.5Nb tubing over a wide range of irradiation conditions for fast neutron fluxes applicable to a CANDU pressure tube. Similar but “accelerated” creep experiments have been conducted in the Osiris test reactor at fast neutron fluxes of approximately 1.8 × 1018 n · m−2 · s−1 (E > 1 MeV), much greater than the neutron fluxes in the NRU reactor. Although accelerated tests in high-flux reactors such as Osiris provide information on irradiation creep, they do not represent the neutron flux conditions applicable to a power reactor. Tests covering power reactor operating conditions are needed to develop models for in-reactor creep of pressure tubes under the appropriate conditions. The data from the NRU reactor are compared with results from creep capsules with similar starting microstructures but irradiated in the Osiris reactor. The results show that the steady-state diametral and axial creep rates have a complex dependence on stress, temperature, and fast neutron flux. Data from out-reactor creep tests on unirradiated and pre-irradiated creep capsules that show the effect of prior irradiation on creep are also reported. The results are discussed in terms of a combination of creep mechanisms involving dislocation glide and mass transport.

    Keywords:

    Zr-2.5Nb, CANDU, creep, mass transport, dislocation glide, neutron irradiation, pressure tube


    Author Information:

    DeAbreu, Robert F.
    Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Chalk River, ON

    Bickel, Grant A.
    Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Chalk River, ON

    Buyers, Andrew W.
    Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Chalk River, ON

    Donohue, Stephen A.
    Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Chalk River, ON

    Dunn, Kris
    Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Chalk River, ON

    Griffiths, Malcolm
    Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Chalk River, ON

    Walters, Lori
    Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Chalk River, ON


    Committee/Subcommittee: B10.02

    DOI: 10.1520/STP159720160042