Quantitative microstructural investigation of neutron-irradiated RAFM steel for nuclear fusion applications
Reduced Activation Ferritic/Martensitic (RAFM) 7-10%Cr-WVTa steels are considered as primary candidate structural materials for in-vessel components of future fusion power plants. These components will be exposed to high neutron and thermo-mechanical loads. Accumulated neutron displacement damage along with transmutation helium generated in the structure materials due to 14.1 MeV fusion neutrons strongly influences the mechanical behavior of the materials. The intention of this work is to evaluate the microstructure of the neutronirradiated RAFM steel EUROFER97. For this purpose irradiation induced defects like point defect clusters and dislocation loops were identified by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and quantified in size and volume density. Long term objective is analyzing the influence of the irradiation dose and different neutron fluxes on the evolution of size and density of the defects at irradiation temperature of 300-330 °C. EUROFER97 samples irradiated to 31.8 dpa were analyzed by TEM. The irradiation was carried out with a flux of 1.8x1019 m-2s-1 (> 0.1 MeV) in the BOR 60 fast reactor at Joint Stock Company (JSC) “State Scientific Centre Research Institute of Atomic Reactors” (SSC RIAR) in Dimitrovgrad, within the framework of the irradiation program “Associated Reactor Irradiation in BOR 60”, which is named ARBOR-1 (Latin for tree). The quantitative data obtained will be used to correlate the changes in the microstructure to the observed irradiation induced hardening and embrittlement of the material and will serve as an input for models describing this correlation.
KeywordsDislocation Loop International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor Diffraction Vector Convergent Beam Electron Diffraction Convergent Beam Electron Diffraction Pattern
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