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Neutron Damage in Reactor Pressure-Vessel Steel Examined with Positron Annihilation Lifetime Spectroscopy

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

Abstract

We have used positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy to study the development of damage and annealing behavior of neutron-irradiated reactor pressure-vessel steels. We irradiated samples of ASTM A508 nuclear reactor pressure-vessel steel to fast neutron 172 fluences of up to 1017 n/cm2, and we examined these samples using positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS) to study the effects of neutron damage in the steels on positron lifetimes. Non-irradiated samples show two positron lifetimes: a 110 ps component corresponding to annihilations in the bulk material, and a 165 ps lifetime corresponding to annihilations in dislocation defects. The irradiated samples show an additional lifetime component of 300 ps in the PAL spectra and an increase in the proportion of annihilations with a 165 ps lifetime, suggesting that vacancies and vacancy clusters are present in the material after room temperature irradiation. The samples were then annealed to temperatures ranging from 210° C to 450° C. The positron lifetimes introduced by neutron damage disappear after annealing the samples at 280° C.

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Neutron Damage in Reactor Pressure-Vessel Steel Examined with Positron Annihilation Lifetime Spectroscopy

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

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