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Examination of Neutron-Irradiated Pressure-Vessel Steel Using Positron Annihilation Lifetime Spectrosopy

  • Stephen E. Cumblidge (a1), Arthur T. Motta (a1) and Gary L. Catchen (a1)

Abstract

On a variety of pressure-vessel (PV) steels, we have observed changes in the average positron lifetime with increasing (near end-of-life) neutron fluences. Samples were irradiated at reactor-temperature and subjected to post-irradiation annealing, and they were examined using positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS). The measured average positron lifetimes in high-temperature (2900 C-300° C) irradiated PV steels decrease with increasing neutron damage up to fluences of 8.5×1018 cm−2 and increase again at higher fluences. Annealing of high-fluence, 300° C irradiated ASTM A508 PV steel samples produces an initial decrease in average positron lifetimes with increasing annealing temperatures of up to 400° C, followed by an increase in average positron lifetime with higher annealing temperatures, when samples were annealed in successive 24-hour steps. A sample of weld steel, irradiated to 2.2×1019 cm−2 at 290° C, shows similar behavior in which the minimum lifetime occurs at ≈ 450° C. These trends are similar to those seen in previous studies performed on VVER and other ferritic steels.

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Examination of Neutron-Irradiated Pressure-Vessel Steel Using Positron Annihilation Lifetime Spectrosopy

  • Stephen E. Cumblidge (a1), Arthur T. Motta (a1) and Gary L. Catchen (a1)

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