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Radiation Induced Solute Clustering in High-Ni Reactor Pressure Vessel Steel

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Document pages: 28 pages

Abstract: The thermal stability and the structure of solute-vacancy clusters formed by neutron irradiation are studied by means of positron annihilation spectroscopy and hardness measurements of post-irradiation annealed reactor pressure vessel steels with high and low Ni contents. Two distinct recovery stages were observed and assigned to (a) the dissolution of vacancy clusters at about 650 K, and (b) the dissolution of solute-vacancy clusters at about 750 K. In steels with high Ni content, hardening mainly recovers during the second stage. Atomistic and coarse grain models suggest that during this stage, the removal of vacancies from vacancy-solute clusters leads to complete cluster dissolution, which indicates that solute clusters are radiation induced.

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