The fracture behaviour of individual grain boundaries has been studied in order to understand the mechanisms controlling stress corrosion cracking in nuclear reactors. In particular, the role of oxidation in facilitating crack initiation and propagation has been reviewed. Nickel alloys from pressurized water reactors (PWRs) have been tested in simulated primary water conditions to induce grain boundary oxidation. Microcantilevers containing an oxidized grain boundary plane have been prepared and tested for fracture. The brittle nature of the oxide was demonstrated and the required stress to fracture measured.