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    SANS and DENS Study of Irradiation Damage in a Reactor Pressure Vessel Material with a Systematic Variation of Irradiation Dose and Heat Treatments

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    Defect clusters in a commercial RPV material, generated by a series of four controlled irradiations in a test reactor, and their thermal evolution with different heat treatments were investigated by SANS, and the studies were completed by independent DENS experiments performed with a triple-axis neutron spectrometer. The mean radius of the particles increases with the fluence and saturates, at the value of 7–9 Å, beyond the dose 1.51019n/cm2. From the ratio of their magnetic versus nuclear contrasts, the copper content of the particles was determined; for the volume fraction of the particles, one obtains 0.15 to 0.18% beyond the lowest dose 5×1018n/cm2. The irradiated-annealed-reirradiated samples show a scattering pattern indicating a bimodal size distribution, with an “aged” kind of particle with radii of 20 to 30 Å and a higher copper content than those described by the main peak near 7 to 9 Å. The DENS data confirm the SANS scattering curves at small (κ<0.3Å1) momentum transfers, and add new information at the intermediate 0.3 to 0.6 Å−1 range; this allows a more reliable determination of the size distribution. A short discussion of the correlated “inherent” variances for the parameters of the logarithmic-normal distribution, as determined from the neutron cross section, is given.


    small angle neutron scattering, embrittlement, radiation, defects

    Author Information:

    Solt, Georges
    Senior scientists, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen,

    Frisius, Friedrich
    Senior scientist, Research Center GKSS, Gcesthacht,

    Waeber, Waldemar B.
    Senior scientists, Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen,

    Bührer, Willi
    Senior scientist, ETH Zurich, c/o PSI, Villigen,

    Committee/Subcommittee: E10.08

    DOI: 10.1520/STP49448S