We present a microstructural study of a surveillance test specimen from a reactor pressure vessel steel of a Russian-type nuclear reactor after neutron irradiation, post-irradiation annealing and re-irradiation, using atom probe tomography (APT) and positron annihilation spectroscopy (PAS). The APT results showed the formation of Cu-rich solute nano-clusters (CRCs) during the initial irradiation and their subsequent coarsening during annealing. After re-irradiation, new CRCs have been observed. The irradiation-hardening almost recovered during annealing. However, by re-irradiation, hardening comparable to that by the initial irradiation was observed. The hardening due to the CRCs formed during the initial irradiation, estimated using the Russell–Brown model, was almost the same as that observed. However, the estimated hardening after the re-irradiation was about half of the measured one. The other hardening is attributed to the newly formed MDs by the re-irradiation, which was evidenced by PAS.
- atom probe tomography
- ferritic steel
- irradiation embrittlement
- positron annhilation
Kuramoto, A., Toyama, T., Nagai, Y., Inoue, K., Nozawa, Y., Hasegawa, M., & Valo, M. (2013). Microstructural changes in a Russian-type reactor weld material after neutron irradiation, post-irradiation annealing and re-irradiation studied by atom probe tomography and positron annihilation spectroscopy. Acta Materialia, 61(14), 5236-5246. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actamat.2013.05.016