Structural materials represent the key for containment of nuclear fuel and fission products as well as reliable and thermodynamically efficient production of electrical energy from nuclear reactors. Similarly, high-performance structural materials will be critical for the future success of proposed fusion energy reactors, which will subject the structures to unprecedented fluxes of high-energy neutrons along with intense thermomechanical stresses. Advanced materials can enable improved reactor performance via increased safety margins and design flexibility, in particular by providing increased strength, thermal creep resistance and superior corrosion and neutron radiation damage resistance. In many cases, a key strategy for designing high-performance radiation-resistant materials is based on the introduction of a high, uniform density of nanoscale particles that simultaneously provide good high temperature strength and neutron radiation damage resistance.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(09)70294-9