Microstructural Evolution of Type 304 and 316 Stainless Steels Under Neutron Irradiation at LWR Relevant Conditions
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Life extension of light water reactors will expose austenitic internal core components to irradiation damage levels beyond 100 displacements per atom (dpa), leading to profound microstructural evolution and consequent degradation of macroscopic properties. Microstructural evolution, including Frank loops, cavities, precipitates, and segregation at boundaries and the resultant radiation hardening in type 304 and 316 stainless steel (SS) variants were studied in this work via experimental characterization and multiple simulation methods. Experimental data for up to 40 heats of type 304SS and 316SS variants irradiated in different reactors to 0.6–120 dpa at 275–375°C were generated from this work or collected from literature reports. These experimental data were then combined with models of Frank loop and cavity evolution, computational thermodynamics and precipitation, and ab initio and rate theory integrated radiation-induced segregation models to provide insights into microstructural evolution and degradation at higher doses.
KeywordsAustenitic Stainless Steel Irradiation Temperature Dislocation Network Radiation Hardening Frank Loop
This research was sponsored by the US Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy, Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program, under Contract DE-AC05-00OR22725 with University of Tennessee–Battelle, LLC. The United States Government retains and the publisher, by accepting the article for publication, acknowledges that the United States Government retains a non-exclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, world-wide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this manuscript, or allow others to do so, for United States Government purposes. The Department of Energy will provide public access to these results of federally sponsored research in accordance with the DOE Public Access Plan (http://energy.gov/downloads/doe-public-access-plan).
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