We try to develop nondestructive methods to monitor the effects of neutron irradiation in ferritic alloys. In this paper we report results obtained with a method based on thermoelectric power (TEP). This method is already used to monitor the thermal aging of duplex stainless steels.
It is shown that the measurement of the thermoelectric power allows the monitoring of the effects of i) electron irradiations on Fe-Cu model alloys, and ii) neutron irradiations on industrial pressure vessel steels. The recovery of these irradiation effects during thermal annealing can also be followed with the proposed method.
On the basis of the results obtained on Fe-Cu alloys, we propose a law to determine the limit of copper solubility in α iron at temperatures below 600°C.