Assessment of the French and US embrittlement trend curves applied to RPV materials irradiated in the BR2 materials test reactor

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The irradiation embrittlement of reactor pressure vessels in monitored through the surveillance programs associated with predictive formulas. These are generally empirically derived and contain the major embrittlement–inducing elements such as copper, nickel and phosphorus. There are a number of such trend curves used in various regulatory guides used in the US, France, Germany, Russia and Japan. These trend curves are often supported by surveillance data and regularly assessed in view of updated surveillance databases. In parallel, a number of irradiation programs are undertaken in research reactors to improve them. Such a program, RADAMO, was developed at SCK•CEN with the aim of building an experimental database on irradiation hardening of a variety of RPV materials in well controlled and documented conditions. One of the objectives of such a program was to provide an engineering model able to rationalize the experimental observations. The model was successfully applied to not only these RADAMO data but also to other data from literature including surveillance data. With the recent worldwide move towards life extension of existing reactors above their initially-scheduled lifetime of 40 years, adequate and accurate modeling of irradiation embrittlement becomes a concern for long term operation.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContribution of Materials Investigations to Improve the Safety and Performance of LWRs
Place of PublicationFrance
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sep 2010
EventContribution of Materials Investigations to Improve the Safety and Performance of LWRs - Fontevraud-7, Avignon, France
Duration: 26 Sep 201030 Sep 2010


ConferenceContribution of Materials Investigations to Improve the Safety and Performance of LWRs


  • reactor pressure vessel, embrittlement trend curve, irradiation hardening, irradiation embrittlement

ID: 126018