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On the Analysis of Clustering in an Irradiated Low Alloy Reactor Pressure Vessel Steel Weld

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 March 2017

Kristina Lindgren*
Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg SE 412 96, Sweden
Krystyna Stiller
Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg SE 412 96, Sweden
Pål Efsing
Vattenfall Ringhals AB, Väröbacka SE 430 22, Sweden
Mattias Thuvander
Department of Physics, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg SE 412 96, Sweden
*Corresponding author.
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Radiation induced clustering affects the mechanical properties, that is the ductile to brittle transition temperature (DBTT), of reactor pressure vessel (RPV) steel of nuclear power plants. The combination of low Cu and high Ni used in some RPV welds is known to further enhance the DBTT shift during long time operation. In this study, RPV weld samples containing 0.04 at% Cu and 1.6 at% Ni were irradiated to 2.0 and 6.4×1023 n/m2 in the Halden test reactor. Atom probe tomography (APT) was applied to study clustering of Ni, Mn, Si, and Cu. As the clusters are in the nanometer-range, APT is a very suitable technique for this type of study. From APT analyses information about size distribution, number density, and composition of the clusters can be obtained. However, the quantification of these attributes is not trivial. The maximum separation method (MSM) has been used to characterize the clusters and a detailed study about the influence of the choice of MSM cluster parameters, primarily on the cluster number density, has been undertaken.

Materials Science (Metals)
© Microscopy Society of America 2017 

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