Applied Surface Science, Vol.252, No.9, 3309-3315, 2006
Positron study of radiation embrittlement of steels used in water cooled, water moderated energy reactors
Positron annihilation spectroscopy (PAS) lifetime study was applied in the evaluation of the microstructure parameters and degradation processes of nuclear reactor pressure vessel (RPV) steel surveillance specimens. Study was oriented to the material investigation of Russian WWER-1000 steels (15Kh2MNFAA and 12Kh2N2MAA) with higher Ni content (1.26 wt.% in base metal and 1.7 wt.% in weld). For comparison, the WWER-440 weld metal (Sv10KhMFT) without Ni was measured too. Specimens were studied in as received stage, after irradiation in LVR-15 experimental reactor to the neutron fluence F-(E > 0.5 MeV) = 4 x 10(23) m(-2) s(-1) and after annealing in vacuum at 475 degrees C/2 h. Post-irradiation thermal treatment and annealing of defects was well detected by different PAS techniques. It was observed that the sensitivity of PAS parameters to defined irradiation treatment decreases with Ni-content increase. Results confirm the hypothesis that Ni affects size (decrease) and distribution (more homogeneous) of the Cu- and P-rich clusters and MxCx carbides. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V All rights reserved.