Researchers from the CEAs Nuclear Energy Division have, for the first time, been able to make a quantitative prediction of the evolution of radiation-induced defects in a structural material. The results obtained for iron, using multi-scale simulation techniques based on the atomic scale, will help provide greater insight into material aging phenomena in existing nuclear power plants and may be applied to nuclear systems of the future. They are to be published in the "Nature Materials" journal on January 4, 2005.
The evolution kinetics of radiation-induced defects in a material has a direct impact on changes in its microstructure and consequently on its mechanical properties. This makes the quantitative prediction of this kinetics and the phenomena governing it a major challenge for the nuclear industry.
This challenge can now be taken up by intercoupling computer simulation techniques operating on different scales. This is what is meant by multi-scale simulation; the numerical results obtained on one time and space scale were taken and used as input data for modeling on the next higher scale:
Anne-Gabrielle Dauba-Pantanacce | alfa
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