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Mechanical testing capabilities for radioactive materials

  • Creep deformation, stress/creep rupture and creep crack growth

  • Tensile and compressive testing (<1 kN up to 2.5 MN)

  • Fatigue testing (LCF and HCF)

  • Thermal-mechanical fatigue testing (TMF)

  • Charpy Impact testing

  • Large scale component testing (up to 2.5 MN), with biaxial loading (up to 1.0 MN)

  • 3-point and 4-point bend testing

  • Impression creep

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Mechanical testing laboratories

The permit and working procedures for the handling and storage of radioactive material allow for use of radioactive material in two adjacent facilities, Walton House and a newly constructed High Temperature Facility (HTF).


This allows for UKAS accredited  testing of active samples using the facilities within Walton House. Job specific risk assessments and modifications are performed by the Walton House radioactive testing team and Wood RPA body (located on site). The proximity of RPA and Health Physics teams, ensures safe management of the test programmes, providing a more flexible approach to material activity and handling.


The active laboratory also has on-site machining facilities for sample extraction and manufacture, including mechanical machining, precision milling 3-axis Wire EDM for precision extraction and machining with limited wastage and for complex geometry test specimens. The laboratory is also supported by metallographic and material inspection capacities located in Walton House and at other company facilities on-site.


The additional HTF capabilities allow for strain measurement using macro and micro (up to 36x magnification) digital image correlation (DIC).

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Example Projects:


  • Four-point bend testing of radioactive graphite

  • Impact and tensile testing of contaminated plastic pipe material

  • Tensile testing of ex-service stainless steel at elevated temperature

  • Charpy impact and fatigue testing of activated steel samples

  • Tensile testing of virgin and ex-service Magnox Graphite

  • Failure testing of ex-service welded components with failure detection equipment

  • Creep of ex-service boiler tube

  • Impression creep testing of miniature specimens extracted from ex-service welded pipework (austenitic stainless steel)

High Temperature Facility Alliance Members:

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EDF Energy
Imperial College London
Univesity of Oxford
The Open University
UK Atomic Energy Authority
National Nuclear Laboratory
The University of Manchester
Battery Local Modular Energy
University of Bristol
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