Simulating irradiation hardening in tungsten under fast neutron irradiation including Re production by transmutation

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Abstract

Simulations of neutron damage under fusion energy conditions must capture the effects of transmutation, both in terms of accurate chemical inventory buildup as well as the physics of the interactions between transmutation elements and irradiation defect clusters. In this work, we integrate neutronics, primary damage calculations, molecular dynamics results, Re transmutation calculations, and stochastic cluster dynamics simulations to study neutron damage in single-crystal tungsten to mimic divertor materials. To gauge the accuracy and validity of the simulations, we first study the material response under experimental conditions at the JOYO fast reactor in Japan and the High Flux Isotope Reactor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, for which measurements of cluster densities and hardening levels up to 2 dpa exist. We then provide calculations under expected DEMO fusion conditions. Several key mechanisms involving Re atoms and defect clusters are found to govern the accumulation of irradiation damage in each case. We use established correlations to translate damage accumulation into hardening increases and compare our results to the experimental measurements. We find hardening increases in excess of 5000 MPa in all cases, which casts doubts about the integrity of W-based materials under long-term fusion exposure.

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Huang, C. H., Gilbert, M. R., & Marian, J. (2018). Simulating irradiation hardening in tungsten under fast neutron irradiation including Re production by transmutation. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 499, 204–215. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2017.11.026

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