The control rod drive follower tubes of the High Flux Beam Reactor are constructed from precipitation-hardened 6061-T6 aluminum alloy and they operate in the high thermal neutron flux regions of the core. It is shown that large thermal neutron fluences up to -4 x 1023 n/cm2 at 333K cause large increases in tensile strength and relatively modest decreases in tensile elongation while significantly reducing the notch impact toughness at room temperature. These changes are attributed to the development of a fine distribution of precipitates of amorphous silicon of which about 8% is produced radiogenically. A proposed role of thermal-to-fast neutron flux ratio is discussed.
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