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Radiation-Induced Processes in Reactor Materials


Fundamental Studies of Radiation-Induced Processes for Production of Radiation Resistant Structural Materials for Fission and Fusion Reactors and Future Advanced Technologies

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-MAT/Materials and Materials Conversion/Fission Reactors
  • FIR-MOD/Modelling/Fission Reactors
  • FUS-OTH/Other/Fusion
  • MAN-MAT/Engineering Materials/Manufacturing Technology
  • MAT-ALL/High Performance Metals and Alloys/Materials
  • MAT-CER/Ceramics/Materials
  • PHY-SSP/Solid State Physics/Physics

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Kurchatov Research Center, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • VNIITF, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Snezhinsk


  • JAERI / Tokai Research Establishment, Japan, Tokai Mura\nPacific Northwest National Laboratory / Dept. of Energy, USA, WA, Richland\nKyushu University / Department of Applied Quantum Physics and Nuclear Engineering, Japan, Fukuoka\nKyoto University / Institute of Advanced Energy, Japan, Kyoto\nOak Ridge National Laboratory, USA, TN, Oak Ridge\nForschungszentrum Karlsruhe in der Helmholts-Gemeinschaft / Institut fuer Materialforschung, Germany, Karlsruhe\nLos Alamos National Laboratory / Materials Science and Technology Division, USA, NM, Los-Alamos

Project summary

The increasing requirement for the improving of safety of modern atomic reactors and extension of the fuel’s life leads to a need a better understanding of the physical mechanisms of phenomena which limit the safety work of atomic reactors due to dimensional volume instability of structural materials under neutron irradiation. The more important phenomena determined the radiation resistances of structural materials are the irradiation creep, radiation swelling, radiation hardening and radiation embrittlement. The phenomenon of irradiation creep arises in stressed structural materials under neutron irradiation. This phenomenon is determined by the increasing of radiation induced plastic deformation in structural materials, which is increased with the increasing of irradiation dose. The radiation creep is characterized by the strain rate, which depends on many parameters: initial microstructure, chemical composition of allays, irradiation temperature, cascade efficiency, generation rate of point defects, formation of defect clusters (dislocation loops, voids and precipitates) under neutron irradiation. The investigation of influence of these parameters on the irradiation creep and swelling is very important for the understanding of physical mechanisms of these phenomena. The some part of these radiation-induced phenomena induced by neutron irradiation, which determines the radiation resistance of structural materials for fission reactors will be considered in this Project.

The other important aim of the present Project is the investigation of radiation-induced processes in structural ceramic and metallic materials for fusion reactor (ITER), including the development of materials for future advanced technologies, based on the new theoretical models for the calculation of primary point defect and defect cluster formation in ceramic materials under heavy ion irradiation. Recent studies have proved that electronic excitations play an important role in the accumulation and recombination processes for point defects in oxide ceramics, which are applied to nuclear industries and fusion reactor (ITER). For example, retardation of dislocation loop formation has been observed in such ceramic oxides, if the high ionizing irradiation exists, with produces new displacement damage. In contrast, dislocation loop formation has been observed in spinel irradiated with very small displacement damage doses (10-5 dpa) and under very high-density of electronic excitation produced by heavy ion irradiation (~600 MeV Xe ions). The influence of the electronic excitations on the production of radiation damage, which takes place also under 14 MeV neutron irradiation of materials, is not fully understood at this moment. In the proposed project, we will use the experimental data for the influence of irradiation by fast heavy ions in the energy interval 100-800 MeV leading to very high density of electronic excitations in some oxide ceramics (spinel, alumna and zirconia oxide. We will investigate the formation processes of defect clusters and their stability using transmission electron microscopy data. Special attention will be paid on the investigation of stability of preexisting radiation defects as a function of irradiation temperature taking into account the role of electronic excitations on radiation processes of point defect formation in following ceramic materials: Al2O3, MgAl2O3 and ZrO2-Y2O3.

The special topics of this project will be oriented on the understanding of the effect of elemental composition of structural materials, influence of type of crystal lattice (BCC and FCC for ferritic-martensitic and austenitic stainless steels), neutron flux, generation rate of point radiation defects, temperature and dose dependencies of radiation creep and swelling under neutron irradiation.


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