The heat-affected zone (HAZ) of reactor pressure vessel (RPV) steels is known to show large scatter in Charpy impact properties because it has inhomogeneous microstructure due to thermal histories of multi-pass welding for butt-welded joints. The correlation between mechanical properties and microstructure such as grain size, phase-fraction, martensite-austenite constituent, on the characteristics of HAZ of un-irradiated materials was investigated. Neutron irradiation was conducted at Japanese Research Reactor −3 (JRR-3) operated by JAEA. The neutron irradiation susceptibility was evaluated based on post-irradiation examinations consisting of mechanical testing and microstructural analysis. In the experiments, typical RPV steel plate and their weldment were prepared. Simulated HAZ materials that have representative microstructures such as coarse-grain HAZ (CGHAZ) and fine-grain HAZ (FGHAZ) were also prepared based on the thermal histories calculated by finite element analysis. For un-irradiated materials, a part of simulated HAZ materials showed a higher reference temperature of the master curve method than that of the base metal (BM). The irradiation hardening of HAZ was almost the same or lower than that of the BM, and the shift of reference temperature for HAZ materials was comparable with that of BM.

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