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MULTISCALE MODELING OF RADIATION EFFECTS ON MATERIALS: PRESSURE VESSEL EMBRITTLEMENT

  • Published : 2009.02.28

Abstract

Radiation effects on materials are inherently multiscale phenomena in view of the fact that various processes spanning a broad range of time and length scales are involved. A multiscale modeling approach to embrittlement of pressure vessel steels is presented here. The approach includes an investigation of the mechanisms of defect accumulation, microstructure evolution and the corresponding effects on mechanical properties. An understanding of these phenomena is required to predict the behavior of structural materials under irradiation. We used molecular dynamics (MD) simulations at an atomic scale to study the evolution of high-energy displacement cascade reactions. The MD simulations yield quantitative information on primary damage. Using a database of displacement cascades generated by the MD simulations, we can estimate the accumulation of defects over diffusional length and time scales by applying kinetic Monte Carlo simulations. The evolution of the local microstructure under irradiation is responsible for changes in the physical and mechanical properties of materials. Mechanical property changes in irradiated materials are modeled by dislocation dynamics simulations, which simulate a collective motion of dislocations that interact with the defects. In this paper, we present a multi scale modeling methodology that describes reactor pressure vessel embrittlement in a light water reactor environment.

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