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Radiation Damage of Reactor Pressure Vessel Steels Studied by Positron Annihilation Spectroscopy—A Review

1
Institute of Nuclear and Physical Engineering, Slovak University of Technology, Ilkovičova 3, 81219 Bratislava, Slovakia
2
Faculty Applied Physics and Measurement, University of Bundeswehr, Werner Heisenberg Weg 39, D-85577 Munich, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2020, 10(10), 1378; https://doi.org/10.3390/met10101378
Received: 14 September 2020 / Revised: 6 October 2020 / Accepted: 14 October 2020 / Published: 16 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radiation Effects in Steels and Alloys)
Safe and long term operation of nuclear reactors is one of the most discussed challenges in nuclear power engineering. The radiation degradation of nuclear design materials limits the operational lifetime of all nuclear installations or at least decreases its safety margin. This paper is a review of experimental PALS/PLEPS studies of different nuclear reactor pressure vessel (RPV) steels investigated over last twenty years in our laboratories. Positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS) via its characteristics (lifetimes of positrons and their intensities) provides useful information about type and density of radiation induced defects. The new results obtained on neutron-irradiated and hydrogen ions implanted German steels were compared to those from the previous studies with the aim to evaluate different processes (neutron flux/fluence, thermal treatment or content of selected alloying elements) to the microstructural changes of neutron irradiated RPV steel specimens. The possibility of substitution of neutron treatment (connected to new defects creation) via hydrogen ions implantation was analyzed as well. The same materials exposed to comparable displacement damage (dpa) introduced by neutrons and accelerated hydrogen ions shown that in the results interpretation the effect of hydrogen as a vacancy-stabilizing gas must be considered, too. This approach could contribute to future studies of nuclear fission/fusion design steels treated by high levels of neutron irradiation. View Full-Text
Keywords: radiation damage; reactor pressure vessel steels; neutron embrittlement; hydrogen ion implantation; positron annihilation radiation damage; reactor pressure vessel steels; neutron embrittlement; hydrogen ion implantation; positron annihilation
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Slugeň, V.; Sojak, S.; Egger, W.; Krsjak, V.; Simeg Veternikova, J.; Petriska, M. Radiation Damage of Reactor Pressure Vessel Steels Studied by Positron Annihilation Spectroscopy—A Review. Metals 2020, 10, 1378.

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