Effect of neutron irradiation on the mechanical properties of an A508 CL2 and 15KH2NMFA irradiated in the NOMAD-3 rig in the BR2 cooling water

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The typical operating temperatures of a nuclear reactor pressure vessel in a PWR are between 290°C and 300°C. However, many BWRs and some PWRs operate at slightly lower temperatures down to 260°C. Most of the literature and neutron
irradiation damage is therefore focused on those irradiation temperatures. It is well-known that the lower the irradiation temperature, the more neutron irradiation damage occurs, because no appreciable annealing happens below approximately
230°C. The NOMAD_3 irradiation consisted in total of 24 Charpy sized samples from an A508 Cl.2 forging and a 15Kh2NMFA material. They were irradiated to three various fluences between 1.55 and 7.90 x 1019 n/cm² (E>1MeV) at approximately 100°C. The hardening of the A508 Cl.2 was between 260 and 400 MPa which was much higher than the NOMAD_0 properties which
were irradiated at approximately 280°C. The tensile tests of irradiated materials are all characterized by a significant loss of work hardening capacity leading to plastic flow localization promptly after the yield strength is reached. This affects also the shape of the Charpy impact transition curves. The radiation
embrittlement derived from Charpy impact tests, ^T41J, is up to 156°C for the highest fluence. For this irradiation, the embrittlement to hardening ratio was also around 0.43 +/- 0.2°C/MPa as it was found in the previous campaign
This paper discusses the tensile, hardness and impact properties of the NOMAD_3 irradiation campaign. It is compared to the NOMAD_0 with respect to effect of irradiation temperature and annealing recovery.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ASME 2021 Pressure Vessels & Piping Conference
PublisherASME - The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9780791885314
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2021


  • NOMAD, Neutron irradiation, A508 C1.2, 15Kh2NMFA, Charpy impact, Tensile, Hardness

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