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Accueil > Groupes de recherche > Matériaux et Irradiation > Experimental simulations using ion beams of the ageing of the austenitic steels constituting nuclear vessel internals

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Experimental simulations using ion beams of the ageing of the austenitic steels constituting nuclear vessel internals

Extending further the life of existing pressurised water nuclear reactors (PWR) is a major challenge that would enable to save tens of millions of euros per year. The safety of the system must however be preserved, which requires a very good knowledge and a good control of the mechanisms of ageing of the constitutive materials. Inside the reactor vessel, the baffle bolts, made of CW 316 austenitic stainless steels, are particularly important to maintain the mechanical integrity of the system. They are subjected to intense neutron irradiation at elevated temperature. In these conditions, the defects created by irradiation as well as the He and H gas produced by nuclear reactions are likely to induce drastic changes detrimental to the stability of the material, among which a phenomenon of swelling.

The two following projects are related to the evolution of austenitic steels microstructure under irradiation.

- CoIrrHeSim, Co-influence of irradiation and helium on austenitic steels swelling (2011-2015)

- Microstructural characterizations of austenitic stainless steels representative of PWR internals irradiated with ions (Bertrand Michaut’s PhD thesis, 2017)