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    Evaluation of Advanced Reactor Pressure Vessel Steels Under Neutron Irradiation

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    The objective of the work described in this paper is to assess the radiation behaviour of “improved” steels and weldments, produced in various countries.

    Three of the materials supplied by France and Japan to the IAEA programme on “Analysis of the Behaviour of Advanced Reactor Pressure Vessel Steels Under Neutron Irradiation” have been irradiated at 290 and/or 250°C in the HERALD light water research reactor to assess the mechanical and upper shelf toughness properties after exposure to neutron fluences of ∼1 × 1019 n·cm2 (E > 1 MeV). A fourth material, a weld supplied by the UK, has been included in the programme for reference. This material has also been included in other UK programmes and also in the Surveillance Dosimetry Improvement Programme being carried out in the US.

    Supplementary test methods used in the evaluation include hardness tests, chemical analyses, electron microscopy and positron annihilation.

    The results indicate that the improved steels are more resistant to radiation induced embrittlement compared to both the UK reference material and published data on older steels. This is believed to be attributable to the improved chemistry of the steels.

    The mechanistic understanding of irradiation embrittlement is becoming increasingly important particularly in terms of deriving a damage correlation model. The data from the supplementary tests are making a significant contribution towards this objective.


    radiation damage, A508-3 forgings, welded joints, heat affected zones, nuclear reactor materials, pressure vessels, nil ductility transition temperature shift, upper shelf toughness, tensile strength, positron annihilation, hardness, chemical composition, copper, nickel, heat treatment

    Author Information:

    Davies, LM
    United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority,

    Ingham, T
    United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority,

    Squires, RL
    Rolls Royce and Associates,

    Committee/Subcommittee: E10.07

    DOI: 10.1520/STP34359S