After review of defects in nuclear reactor plants, this paper exhibits novel electromagnetic (EM) non-destructive testing and evaluation (NDT & E) for defect and material characterisation of nuclear fuel materials. Through comparison with traditional method for nuclear material inspection, e.g. X-Ray and phase array, EM NDT&E show advantages in non-contact inspection. Several recent development EM NDT & E techniques are reported and several case studies are investigated and discussed. Results show pulsed eddy current (PEC) can measure the stress and defect via the normalised ΔBZ features. The bigger stress results in the larger amplitude on normalised ΔBZ response. Magnetic Barkenhasuen noise (MBN) can measure the strain status via the RMS of Barkhausen noise amplitude. The RMS value decreases as the increase in strain. Eddy current pulsed thermography (ECPT) can be used for welding detection and characterisation through ‘highlighting’ the welding in thermal images. ECPT and MBN methods are also compared with traditional X-Ray and phase array methods for the inspection of welding samples. The comparison shows the competitive capability of ECPT in welding detection and evaluation. This paper demonstrates PEC, MBN and ECPT as good candidates for nuclear fuel materials.

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