We showed recently that temperature dependence of the ductile fracture toughness can be predicted on the base of two assumptions: 1) assumption of constant characteristic length, 2) assumption of proportionality between J-R curve slope and deformation work in unit volume, evaluated from zero to critical strain for initiation of deformation bands determined in plane strain geometry for material modeled by deformation theory of plasticity. Temperature dependence of ductile fracture toughness results simply from temperature dependence of the stress-strain curve. Irradiation hardening changes stress-strain behavior in a qualitatively different way: It is observed that irradiation hardening to certain yield stress level changes the stress-strain curve of the material in the same way as prestraining of the unirradiated material to the same flow stress level does. Equivalence of irradiation and prestraining concerns all key properties of deformation theory; namely the secant modulus should be taken from the stress-strain curve of unirradiated material. With exception of this specific feature, the task of finding relative fracture toughness decrease by irradiation is the same as prediction of relative decrease of fracture toughness by temperature change. In the frame of the corresponding theory, relative decrease of ductile fracture toughness expressed by J-R curve slope can be obtained from the stress-strain curve of unirradiated material and irradiation hardening level. Quantitative results are presented for the weld metals 72W and 73W, studied in the Fifth Irradiation Series in the Heavy-Section Steel Irradiation Program, and compared with experimental data.

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