In support of the technological requirements for fusion, the UK fusion technology programme is conducting several experiments using the ASP DT neutron irradiation facility at AWE Aldermaston. The present experimental programme covers two key areas of technology development: improving the quality of nuclear cross-section data required for fusion-related materials; and benchmarking fusion nuclear analysis tools such as the shutdown activation dose system MC-R2S. The first of these areas is the focus of this paper. The work presented here gives a technical overview of the ASP facility, including the accelerator, the irradiation cell, the recently re-commissioned fast sample extraction system and ancillary radiation metrology equipment. Results from preliminary activation experiments using high purity elemental- and fusion-relevant material foils, are presented. These include measurements of short-lived activation products conducted via gamma spectrometry methods.