The safe, reliable, and economic operation of the nation’s nuclear power reactor fleet has always been a top priority for the nuclear industry. Continual improvement of technology, including advanced materials and nuclear fuels, remains central to the industry’s success. Enhancing the accident tolerance of light water reactors (LWRs) became a topic of serious discussion following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, resulting tsunami, and subsequent damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant complex. The overall goal for the development of accident-tolerant fuel (ATF) for LWRs is to identify alternative fuel system technologies to further enhance the safety, competitiveness, and economics of commercial nuclear power. Designed for use in the current fleet of commercial LWRs or in reactor concepts with design certifications (GEN-III+), fuels with enhanced accident tolerance would endure loss of active cooling in the reactor core for a considerably longer period of time than the current fuel system while maintaining or improving performance during normal operations. The complex multiphysics behavior of LWR nuclear fuel in the integrated reactor system makes defining specific material or design improvements difficult; as such, establishing desirable performance attributes is critical in guiding the design and development of fuels and cladding with enhanced accident tolerance. Research and development of ATF in the United States is conducted under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cycle Research and Development Advanced Fuels Campaign. The DOE is sponsoring multiple teams to develop ATF concepts within multiple national laboratories, universities, and the nuclear industry. Concepts under investigation offer both evolutionary and revolutionary changes to the current nuclear fuel system. This paper summarizes the technical evaluation methodology proposed in the United States to aid in the optimization and prioritization of candidate ATF designs.