The formation of fracture process zones in polygranular reactor core moderator graphites subjected to four-point bending has been investigated. The three-dimensional digital image correlation technique has been combined with resistance strain gauge measurements to evaluate, both the localised and the global displacements during testing. The non-linear load-displacement characteristics prior to peak load are correlated with the localised displacements which can extend up to ~3mm (process zone) from the tensile surface of the specimen. At peak load a macro-crack propagates rapidly along an irregular path controlled by the direction of the applied tensile load and the microstructure of the graphite. These cracks arrest prior to complete separation of the specimen. Localised tensile process zones extend for distances of up to ~3mm ahead of the tips of these cracks.