Uranium dioxide-only and uranium dioxide-gadolinium oxide (5% and 10%) ceramic nuclear fuel pellets which were already coated with boron nitride were coated with thin boron layer by chemical vapor deposition to increase the burnup efficiency of the fuel during reactor operation. Coating was accomplished from the reaction of boron trichloride with hydrogen at 1250 K in a tube furnace, and then sintering at 1400 and 1525 K. The deposited boron was identified by infrared spectrum. The morphology of the coating was studied by using scanning electron microscope. The plate, grainy and string (fiber)-like boron structures were observed. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.