TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
RADIATION EFFECTS CONSULTING
The economics and safety of nuclear reactors often are limited more by issues concerning structural materials than by fuel or nuclear issues. When subjected to neutron irradiation at elevated temperatures alloys used to construct the structural components of nuclear reactors undergo extensive changes in microstructure, microchemistry and often phase stability.
These microstructural and microchemical changes can lead to significant dimensional distortion and changes in the volume of reactor components via the interactive processes of transmutation, radiation-induced precipitation, void swelling and irradiation creep. Additionally, there are often strong changes induced in the mechanical properties of structural steels.
A review of these phenomena and their impact on the continued functionality and lifetime of reactor structural components will be presented.
UF Materials Science & Engineering Dept.