An experimental setup was designed, fabricated and used to form radial hydrides in Zr-2.5%Nb alloy pressure tube spool. The design of setup was based on ensuring a hoop stress in the spool greater than threshold stress for reorientation of hydrides in this alloy, which was achieved by manipulating the thermal expansion coefficient of the plunger and pressure tube material and diametral interference between them. The experimental setup was loaded on a universal testing machine (UTM) fitted with an environmental chamber and subjected to a temperature cycle for the stress reorientation treatment. The metallographic examination of the hydrogen charged spools subjected to stress re-orientation treatment using this set up revealed formation of predominantly radial hydrides. The variation of fracture toughness of material containing radial hydride with test temperature showed typical ‘S’ curve behavior with transition temperatures more than that of the material containing circumferential hydride. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.