By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Science Letter -- Investigators discuss new findings in Nuclear Materials. According to news reporting originating in Brussels, Belgium, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "Radiation-induced embrittlement of bainitic steels is the lifetime limiting factor of reactor pressure vessels in existing nuclear light water reactors. The primary mechanism of embrittlement is the obstruction of dislocation motion produced by nanometric defect structures that develop in the bulk of the material due to irradiation."
The news reporters obtained a quote from the research from the Free University of Brussels, "In view of improving the predictive capability of existing models it is necessary to understand better the mechanisms leading to the formation of these defects, amongst which the so-called 'late blooming phases'. In this work we study the stability of the latter by means of density functional theory (DFT) calculations and Monte Carlo simulations based on a here developed quaternary FeCuNiMn interatomic potential. The potential is based on extensive DFT and experimental data. The reference DFT data on solute-solute interaction reveal that, while Mn-Ni pairs and triplets are unstable, larger clusters are kept together by attractive binding energy. The NiMnCu synergy is found to increase the temperature range of stability of solute atom precipitates in Fe significantly as compared to binary FeNi and FeMn alloys."
According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "This allows for thermodynamically stable phases close to reactor temperature, the range of stability being, however, very sensitive to composition."
For more information on this research see: On the thermal stability of late blooming phases in reactor pressure vessel steels: An atomistic study. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 2013;442(1-3):282-291. Journal of Nuclear Materials can be contacted at: Elsevier Science Bv, PO Box 211, 1000 Ae Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Elsevier - www.elsevier.com; Journal of Nuclear Materials - www.elsevier.com/wps/product/cws_home/505671)
Our news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained by contacting G. Bonny, Univ Libre Brussels, Fac Sci, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium. Additional authors for this research include D. Terentyev, A. Bakaev, E.E. Zhurkin, M. Hou, D. Van Neck and L. Malerba (see also Nuclear Materials).
Keywords for this news article include: Europe, Belgium, Brussels, Nuclear Materials
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