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The neutron dosimetry analysis effort discussed is aimed solely at obtaining the most accurate projections of neutron fluence and future radiation embrittlement in the pressure vessel of an operating commercial power reactor. The mechanical property changes in materials for reactor pressure vessel applications are caused by neutron/atomic lattice interactions that are highly sensitive to material composition, irradiation temperature, and population and energy of the damage causing neutrons. Of these, the neutron fluence and spectra are most difficult to define accurately for a given irradiation condition since neither can be measured directly. Nevertheless, if radiation induced changes are to be understood and subsequently used as a basis for projecting changes in real reactor components, the neutron dosimetry analysis must be as precise as possible; the ultimate results of any such projections are highly dependent upon the accuracy of the neutron spectrum and neutron fluence used as input. Improvements in both of these areas, as well as in standardization of approaches, are needed for accurate projection of radiation induced changes in reactor pressure vessels. The current status of neutron dosimetry in power reactors is reviewed, and guidelines are provided for improving future dosimetry of reactor pressure vessel surveillance programs.
irradiation, particle beams, neutron irradiation, neutron flux, spectra, radiation effects, dosimetry, mechanical properties, microstructure, crystal lattices, embrittlement, power reactors (nuclear), nuclear fuel cladding, pressure vessels, alloy steels, alloy stainless steels
Research chemist, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC,
Senior research scientist, Battelle Memorial Institute, Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, Wash.