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On the potentiality of using ferritic/martensitic steels as structural materials for fusion reactors

Funded under: FP5-EAECTP C


Reduced activation ferritic/martensitic (RAFM) steels are the reference as structural materials for the future fusion reactors. They have proven to be a good alternative to austenitic steels for their higher swelling resistance. However, RAFM steels exhibit irradiation-induced low temperature hardening and increase in the ductile-to-brittle transition temperature, which imposes a severe restriction on their reactor applications at temperatures below 300°C. Furthermore, a high density of small helium bubbles has been recently evidenced in specimens proton-irradiated at about 300°C to a dose of 10dpa, which could affect their fracture mechanical behaviour at intermediate temperatures. Their temperature window of use is presently limited by a drop in mechanical strength at about 600°C. So, new variants that can better resist at high temperatures are currently being developed, mainly using stable oxide dispersion. The potentiality of using present RAFM steels and the variants being developed for the first wall of future fusion reactors are reviewed below.

Additional information

Authors: BALUC N, Centre de Recherches en Physique des Plasmas, Association EURATOM-Confédération Suisse, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (CH)
Bibliographic Reference: A paper presented at: 19th IAEA Fusion Energy Conference. Organised by: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Held at: Lyon, France, October 14-19 2002.
Availability: Available online at: Also published in EPFL Internal Report LRP 738/02, available free of charge from: École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Ecublens, CH-1015 Lausanne. Fax: +41-21-6934747.
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