Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Mechanical and Materials Engineering


Dr. Robert Klassen


Canada is designing supercritical water fission reactors (SCWR) to increase the thermal efficiency of nuclear power generation from ~34% to ~48%. The temperature and pressure of a supercritical water reactor core is very high compared to a CANDU reactor. This thesis examines irradiation hardening and thermal recovery of two candidate alloys, AISI 310 and Inconel 800H, for the Canadian SCWR.

Samples of both alloys are mechanically ground and polished, then irradiated using 8.0 MeV Fe ions. The use of ion irradiation safely and quickly simulates neutron damage. The change in the hardness of the samples is then studied during a series of thermal anneals at temperatures ranging from 400° to 600° C.

This study found virtually all irradiation-induced hardening had recovered within 100 minutes of exposure to these temperatures.