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Laurent Legras1, Alexandre Volgin1,2, Bertrand Radiguet2, Philippe Pareige2, Cedric Pokor1, Brigitte Décamps3, Thierry Couvant1, Nicolas Huin1,4 and Romain Soulas1,5


1. EDF R&D-EDF Lab Les Renardières, Moret sur Loing cedex 77818, France
2. GPM Rouen, Avenue de l'Université, Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray 76800, France
3. CSNSM IN2P3, Université de Paris Sud, Orsay 91400, France
4. Institut PPrime Université de Poitiers, ISAE-ENSMA, UPR 3346 BP 30179 F86962 Futuroscope Chasseneuil, France
5. INP Grenoble, SIMAP, Saint-Martin-d'Hères 38402, France


Even if temperature, pressure and chemistry of the cooling water are not very high and aggressive, materials used in PWRs (Pressurized Water Reactors) are exposed to different degradation mechanisms. One of the main goals of the research programs in this field is to develop physical model of the mechanisms down to the atomic scale. Such approach needs a clear description and understanding of the degradation mechanisms at the same small scale. This paper illustrates the benefits of different microscopies and of their last improvements up to the promising possibilities of monochromated and aberrations corrected TEM/STEM. A specific focus is placed on four different degradation mechanisms observed in austenitic stainless steel: irradiation ageing, corrosion fatigue, stress corrosion cracking and corrosion.


PWR, TEM, APT, 3D SEM, irradiation ageing, corrosion fatigue, stress corrosion cracking, corrosion.

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