Atom Probe Tomography has been performed on as-irradiated and post-irradiation annealed surveillance weld samples from Ringhals Unit 3. The weld contains low Cu (0.07 at.%) and high Ni (1.5 at.%). A high number density (∼4 × 1023 m−3) of Ni–Mn–Si-enriched clusters was observed in the as-irradiated material. The onset of recovery was observed during the annealing for 30 min at 450 °C. Much more significant dissolution of clusters occurred during the 10 min 500 °C anneal, resulting in a reduction in mean cluster size and a halving of their volume fraction. Detailed analyses of the changes in microstructure demonstrate that the dissolution process is driven by migration of Mn atoms from the clusters. This may indicate a strong correlation between Mn and point defects. Dissolution of the clusters is shown to correlate with recovery of mechanical properties in this material.
|Journal||Journal of Nuclear Materials|
|Early online date||17 Jan 2015|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2015|