Correlating Fast Fluence to dpa in Atypical Locations
AREVA INC., Lynchburg VA, USA
Published online: 3 February 2016
Damage to a nuclear reactor's materials by high-energy neutrons causes changes in the ductility and fracture toughness of the materials. The reactor vessel and its associated piping's ability to withstand stress without brittle fracture are paramount to safety. Theoretically, the material damage is directly related to the displacements per atom (dpa) via the residual defects from induced displacements. However in practice, the material damage is based on a correlation to the high-energy (E > 1.0 MeV) neutron fluence. While the correlated approach is applicable when the material in question has experienced the same neutron spectrum as test specimens which were the basis of the correlation, this approach is not generically acceptable. Using Monte Carlo and discrete ordinates transport codes, the energy dependent neutron flux is determined throughout the reactor structures and the reactor vessel. Results from the models provide the dpa response in addition to the high-energy neutron flux. Ratios of dpa to fast fluence are calculated throughout the models. The comparisons show a constant ratio in the areas of historical concern and thus the validity of the correlated approach to these areas. In regions above and below the fuel however, the flux spectrum has changed significantly. The correlated relationship of material damage to fluence is not valid in these regions without adjustment. An adjustment mechanism is proposed.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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