On the equivalence of irradiation conditions on present and future facilities for fusion materials research and qualification: a computational study

Research outputpeer-review


We performed a computational study to assess the suitability and equivalence of the irradiation conditions on several test irradiation facilities (either currently operating or planned to deploy in the future) aimed at the qualification of materials for nuclear fusion reactors such as ITER and DEMO. The degradation of the material’s properties is driven by the changes in its microstructure and chemistry (transmutation). The primary objective of this study is thus to perform a comparison of the microstructural pattern as predicted by means of simulations. The focus of the study is put on two materials: Eurofer97 steels a d tungsten. We considered operation conditions in fusion reactors (i.e. ITER and DEMO) and in test irradiation facilities such as material test reactors (fast and mixed neutron spectrum), IFIMIF-DONES, ESS and proton accelerators. Typical irradiation conditions are addressed according to the currently available design (for DEMO) and expected operation modes (for ITER). The study is realized by means of object kinetic Monte Carlo which is parameterized and configured using state-of- the-art knowledge on irradiation spectra, neutron cross-sections, primary damage states, lattice defects mobility/cohesion and interaction of the material’s microstructure with lattice defects. The irradiation defects are singled out using a dedicated post-processing tools to enable a comparison with expected findings in transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atom probe tomography (APT). The results are discussed in terms of the equivalence of the emerging irradiation microstructure predicted to occur in test irradiation facilities if compared with the one simulated in the nuclear fusion reactors. The summary and discussion provide information on the equivalence and deviations of the microstructural patterns suggesting the suitability of the test irradiation facilities for certain irradiation regimes, as well as pointing at some limitations, e.g., originating from the difference in the neutron spectra or flux.
Original languageEnglish
Article number153589
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
StatePublished - 7 Feb 2022

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