Microstructural and non-destructive analysis

Our offer

SCK•CEN offers a complete service in Post-Irradiation Examination (PIE) techniques for the analyses of irradiated and/or radiotoxic materials. We offer expertise, both on the level of the non-destructive and microstructural examination techniques as on the level of a large number of materials used in nuclear and paranuclear applications.


  • Research and development of nuclear materials
  • Nuclear materials qualification and licensing support studies
  • Nuclear materials Quality Assurance
  • Nuclear materials failure expertise analyses

Our equipment

Non-destructive analyses

  • Hot cell infrastructure and measurement benches for analysis of up to 4m long irradiated fuel rods (defective or intact)
  • Hot cell infrastructure and measurement bench for analysis of subsize and full size irradiated fuel plates from research reactor driver fuel or experimental
  • Visual inspection
  • Metrology (diameter and length for rods, thickness mapping for plates)
  • Oxide thickness (eddy current probe) on plates and rods
  • Cladding integrity analysis (eddy current encircling coil) for rods
  • X-ray radiography of irradiated fuel rods
  • Quantitative gamma spectrometry (burnup, power on rods and plates and fission gas release on rods)
  • Fuel rod punction for free volume and fission gas composition analysis

Microstructural analyses

  • Optical microscopy (Telatom-3)
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM Jeol JSM-7100F in hot cell and Jeol JSM-6610 for non-active specimens)
  • Electron Probe Microanalysis (Cameca SX-100R and Cameca Camebax)
  • X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (Upgraded VG Escalab 220i-XL)
  • X-ray Diffraction (Panalytical X'Pert)
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy (Jeol JEM-3010)


ContactSven Van den Berghe