T91 steel is a promising candidate material for high-dose structural components in both fusion and fission nuclear reactors. However, a better understanding of how the atomic-scale microstructure evolves under the extreme temperature and irradiation conditions within the reactor and correlating this to the deterioration of mechanical properties, is still needed to predict safe operating lifetimes of the component.
My project combines the 3D atomic-scale microscopy provided by atom probe tomography with micro-mechanical testing to systematically investigate the effects of irradiation exposure in a set of samples from the BOR60 fast reactor in Russia. I will also be investigating the use of dual ion beam irradiation as a surrogate for neutrons to facilitate a wider range of dose and temperature effects in this material.
My supervisors are Dr Anna Kareer from the Materials for Fusion & Fission Power Group, and Prof Michael Moody and Dr Paul Bagot from the APT Group. My research is being undertaken in collaboration with partners at the UKAEA, University of Michigan and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.