Materials testing

The safe operation of a nuclear power plant depends upon the condition of its components. To guarantee safety some components, such as steam generators, are maintained on a regular basis or completely replaced after a specific period. Replacement of the reactor vessel – in which the nuclear reactions take place - is not technically or economically feasible.

SCK•CEN has developed a monitoring programme in recent years to monitor the deterioration (embrittlement) of the reactor vessel steel in Belgian nuclear power plants. This has led to requests for the deployment of this innovative material test programme in nuclear power plants abroad, including Argentina, Spain, Switzerland, etc.

We offer the following material testing services

  • Corrosion and mechanical analyses
  • Micro structural and non-destructive analyses
  • Radiochemical analyses (more info)

For a wide range of materials

  • Various types of metals and alloys (e.g. steel for the reactor vessel)
  • Electrical cables and the impact of radiation on cable insulation materials
  • Nuclear fuel elements and their compositions


Laboratory for high and medium level activity

Analysis and measurements


More information on our Science Platform