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Title: Radiation damage characterization in reactor pressure vessel steels with nonlinear ultrasound

Nuclear generation currently accounts for roughly 20% of the US baseload power generation. Yet, many US nuclear plants are entering their first period of life extension and older plants are currently undergoing assessment of technical basis to operate beyond 60 years. This means that critical components, such as the reactor pressure vessel (RPV), will be exposed to higher levels of radiation than they were originally intended to withstand. Radiation damage in reactor pressure vessel steels causes microstructural changes such as vacancy clusters, precipitates, dislocations, and interstitial loops that leave the material in an embrittled state. The development of a nondestructive evaluation technique to characterize the effect of radiation exposure on the properties of the RPV would allow estimation of the remaining integrity of the RPV with time. Recent research has shown that nonlinear ultrasound is sensitive to radiation damage. The physical effect monitored by nonlinear ultrasonic techniques is the generation of higher harmonic frequencies in an initially monochromatic ultrasonic wave, arising from the interaction of the ultrasonic wave with microstructural features such as dislocations, precipitates, and their combinations. Current findings relating the measured acoustic nonlinearity parameter to increasing levels of neutron fluence for different representative RPV materials are presented.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. G.W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332 (United States)
  2. School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332 (United States)
  3. G.W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332 and Nuclear Sector, The Electric Power Research Institute, Charlotte, NC 28262 (United States)
  4. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208 (United States)
  5. G.W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332 and School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22263727
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 1581; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: 40. annual review of progress in quantitative nondestructive evaluation, Baltimore, MD (United States), 21-26 Jul 2013, 10. international conference on Barkhausen noise and micromagnetic testing, Baltimore, MD (United States), 21-26 Jul 2013; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; DISLOCATIONS; INTERACTIONS; MICROSTRUCTURE; NEUTRON FLUENCE; NONDESTRUCTIVE ANALYSIS; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; POWER GENERATION; PRESSURE VESSELS; RADIATION EFFECTS; ULTRASONIC WAVES