The security of nuclear reactors depends on knowledge about the degradation of some of their components by neutron irradiation. It is anticipated in the design of power reactors so as to ensure their safe operation. The long-time behaviour of reactor components is investigated. These studies serve to verify that the predictions concerning mechanical properties of reactors hold, but also to better understand the processes leading to degradation in order to find means for safely increasing the lifetimes of power plants. (author).