The extension of the operation period of nuclear plants requires an accurate characterisation of the vessel materials, in order to monitor their embrittlement due to neutron irradiation. This need poses a challenge, since the availability of specimens inside the vessels to characterise their evolution is rather scarce. Therefore, innovative techniques have to be applied, in order to reduce the number of tests and the volume of the specimens. In this paper, the Master Curve approach has been employed, combined with the use of small punch notched specimens. The Master Curve methodology allows to evaluate the embrittlement of the material using a single parameter: the reference temperature, T0. This parameter has been estimated for several steels by means of modified small punch specimens, which are characterised by their reduced dimensions: only 10 × 10 × 0.5 mm. The obtained results have been compared with those obtained by means of conventional testing and a methodology to estimate T0 by means of small punch tests together with the Master Curve has been proposed.

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