SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1986

Irradiation Embrittlement of Reactor Pressure Vessel Steels: Mechanisms, Models, and Data Correlations


A model of irradiation embrittlement is described for predicting the 41-J Charpy V-notch temperature shifts (ΔT) as a function of metallurgical variables and neutron exposure conditions. This forecasting procedure combines semi-empirical physical models with statistical analyses of test and power reactor data, and calibration against data from fundamental experiments in which both mechanical property and microstructural changes are evaluated. The models are based on the evolution of a damage microstructure, which includes both copper precipitates and a radiation damage component enhanced by nickel. The precipitate volume is also increased by nickel and impurity phosphorus. Predicted hardening and shifts associated with these extended defects are based on empirically validated models. The model is able to self-consistently rationalize a wide array of microstructural and mechanical property data for commercial pressure vessel steels as well as model alloys.

Author Information

Odette, GR
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
Lucas, GE
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA
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Developed by Committee: E10
Pages: 206–241
DOI: 10.1520/STP23038S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-4975-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0473-0