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Title: Radiation damage in advanced materials for next generation nuclear power plants
Author: Wootton, Mark J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 2371
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2017
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The ageing state of the world's nuclear power infrastructure, and the need to reduce humanity s dependency on fossil fuels, requires that this electrical energy generating capacity is replaced. Economic factors, and its physical and chemical properties, make high purity iron-chromium binary alloys a strong candidate for use in the construction of the pressure vessels of the next generation of nuclear reactors. This relatively inexpensive metal retains the oxidation resistance property of so-called stainless steel alloys, and has demonstrated dimensional stability and low degradation under harsh experimental environments of temperature and radiation. In this work, we consider radiation induced interstitial damage to the atomic lattices of iron-chromium binary alloys using the atomistic modelling methods, Molecular Dynamics and Adaptive Kinetic Monte Carlo, simulating collision cascade sequences, and the migration of defects in the aftermath. Variations in chromium content does not effect the initial damage production in terms of the number of Frenkel pairs produced, but iron and chromium atoms are not evenly distributed in defect atoms with respect to the bulk concentration. In simulations conducted at low temperature, chromium is under-represented, and at high temperature, a greater proportion of interstitial atoms are chromium than in the lattice overall. The latter phenomena is most strongly pronounced in systems of low bulk chromium content. During the simulation of post-cascade defect migration, interstitials atoms are observed to form temporary clusters and vacancies align along adjacent lattice sites, with the two types of defect also migrating to annihilate by recombination. Calculating the energy spectra of cascade events corresponding to an example experimental configuration using the SRIM package, we investigated the evolution of lattice systems in which a sequence of multiple cascade events occurred, both with and without a physically representative time gap between events. These simulations gave us the opportunity to observe the behaviour of cascades in the proximity of damage remaining from previous events, such as the promotion of defect clustering when this occurs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: EPSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Collision cascades ; High purity ferritic steel ; Iron-chromium alloys ; Molecular dynamics ; Adaptive kinetic Monte Carlo simulation ; SRIM ; Atomistic modelling ; Steel ; Monte Carlo simulation