Neutron radiation embrittlement of reactor pressure vessel (RPV) steels is one of critical issues for the structural integrity assessment of the RPVs. Especially, the embrittlement at high fluences is of great interest for the long term operation of light water reactors because information on the mechanical property changes as well as embrittlement mechanisms is limited at high fluences. In this study, microstructural analyses were conducted on the RPV steels irradiated to high fluences in order to confirm the applicability of the trend curve at high fluence region. Steels investigated are five base metals and a weld metal with their copper content ranging from 0.02 to 0.25 wt. %. These steels were irradiated in the material test reactors to fluence up to 1.3 × 1020 n/cm2, E > 1MeV, at temperature of about 290 °C. After irradiation, transmission electron microscope (TEM) observations were performed to characterize the nano-meter scale microstructural changes due to irradiation. Formation of dislocation loops was observed. Number density and diameter of dislocation loop was investigated. Effects of chemical composition of steel and fluence on dislocation loop formation are discussed.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.