Post-irradiation annealing of Ni–Mn–Si-enriched clusters in a neutron-irradiated RPV steel weld using Atom Probe Tomography

P. D. Styman, J. M. Hyde, David Parfitt, K. Wilford, M. G. Burke, C. A. English, P. Efsing

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    Abstract

    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)127-134
    JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
    Volume459
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2015

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