ANATECH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Structural Integrity, has unique experience in developing material constitutive models and integral behavior codes for nuclear fuel and irradiated materials. Under EPRI sponsorship, we developed the Falcon code for the analysis of fuel rod behavior during normal operation, maneuvers, transients and postulated accidents. As a finite-element based code, Falcon has versatile 2-D geometric representation capabilities that can be used to model a full-length fuel rod or a local region of the fuel and cladding material. The Falcon code considers all aspects of nuclear fuel performance, including thermal, mechanical, chemical, and irradiation effects. This class will provide real-world examples and approaches to improve fuel rod performance through the use of tools like Falcon. Discussions include fuel rod failure assessments during power maneuvers, postulated Reactivity Insertion Accidents and LOCAs, and fuel design verification.