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Recent Progress Toward an Integrated Multiscale-Multiphysics Model of Reactor Pressure Vessel Embrittlement

  • B. D. Wirth (a1), G. R. Odette (a2) and R. E. Stoller (a3)

Abstract

The continued safe operation of nuclear reactors and their potential for lifetime extension depends on ensuring reactor pressure vessel integrity. Reactor pressure vessels and structural materials used in nuclear energy applications are exposed to intense neutron fields that create atomic displacements and ultimately change material properties. The physical processes involved in radiation damage are inherently multiscale, spanning more than 15 orders of magnitude in length and 24 orders of magnitude in time. This paper reports our progress in developing an integrated, multiscale-multiphysics (MSMP) model of radiation damage for the prediction of reactor pressure vessel embrittlement. Key features of the fully integrated MSMP model include: i) combined molecular dynamics (MD) and kinetic lattice Monte Carlo (KMC) simulations of cascade defect production and cascade aging to produce cross-sections for vacancy, self- interstitial and vacancy-solute cluster size classes for times on the order of seconds; ii) an integrated reaction rate theory and thermodynamic code to predict the evolution of nanostructural and nanochemical features for times on the order of decades; iii) a micromechanics model to calculate the resulting mechanical property changes. This paper will focus on the combined use of MD and KMC to simulate the long-term rearrangement (aging) of defects in displacement cascades and thus, produce late-time production cross-sections for vacancy and vacancy cluster features.

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Recent Progress Toward an Integrated Multiscale-Multiphysics Model of Reactor Pressure Vessel Embrittlement

  • B. D. Wirth (a1), G. R. Odette (a2) and R. E. Stoller (a3)

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