Material harvested from several positions within a nuclear fuel duct (the ACO-3 duct) used in a 6-year irradiation of a fuel assembly in the Fast Flux Test Reactor Facility (FFTF) was examined using neutron and high-energy X-ray diffraction. Samples with a wide range of irradiation dose and irradiation temperature history, reaching doses of up to 147 dpa and temperatures of up to 777 K, were examined. The response of various microstructural characteristics such as the weight fraction of M23C6 carbides, the dislocation density and character, and the crystallographic texture were determined using whole profile analysis of the diffraction data and related to the macroscopic mechanical behavior. For instance, the dislocation density was observed to be intimately linked with observed flow strength of the irradiated materials, following the Taylor law. In general, at the high doses studied in this work, the irradiation temperature is the predominant controlling factor of the dislocation density and, thus, the flow strength of the irradiated material. The results, representing some of the first diffraction work done on samples exposed to such a high received dose, demonstrate how non-destructive and stand-off diffraction techniques can be used to characterize irradiation induced microstructure and at least estimate mechanical properties in irradiated materials without exposing workers to radiation hazards.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Materials Science(all)
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering