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Title: Swelling in light water reactor internal components: Insights from computational modeling

A modern cluster dynamics model has been used to investigate the materials and irradiation parameters that control microstructural evolution under the relatively low-temperature exposure conditions that are representative of the operating environment for in-core light water reactor components. The focus is on components fabricated from austenitic stainless steel. The model accounts for the synergistic interaction between radiation-produced vacancies and the helium that is produced by nuclear transmutation reactions. Cavity nucleation rates are shown to be relatively high in this temperature regime (275 to 325°C), but are sensitive to assumptions about the fine scale microstructure produced under low-temperature irradiation. The cavity nucleation rates observed run counter to the expectation that void swelling would not occur under these conditions. This expectation was based on previous research on void swelling in austenitic steels in fast reactors. This misleading impression arose primarily from an absence of relevant data. The results of the computational modeling are generally consistent with recent data obtained by examining ex-service components. However, it has been shown that the sensitivity of the model s predictions of low-temperature swelling behavior to assumptions about the primary damage source term and specification of the mean-field sink strengths is somewhat greater that that observed atmore » higher temperatures. Further assessment of the mathematical model is underway to meet the long-term objective of this research, which is to provide a predictive model of void swelling at relevant lifetime exposures to support extended reactor operations.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
RC0304000; NERC006
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
void swelling; reactor internals; life extension; modeling