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A model was developed for irradiation-induced hardening in pressure vessel steels by cascade-induced nucleation and free defect diffusion of copper to coherent copper clusters. The model was used as a functional framework for fitting data on macroscopic property change (ΔNDTT) as a function of damage dose and dose rate. Several defect cross sections having different neutron energy dependences were tried. The cross section for Frenkel pair production, based on resistivity measurements at 4 K, was found to give a comparable or slightly better fit to the data than dpa. Damage rate is an important parameter to consider in correlation of ΔNDTT data, and damage rate can affect the nucleation as well as the growth of the copper precipitation.
defect cross sections, displaced atoms, damage rate, precipitation hardening, nucleation, growth
Senior scientist, Hanford Engineering Development Laboratory, Richland, WA