A series of scoping tests designed to explore the effect of shroud heating on Zircaloy cladding deformation was conducted in the single-rod test facility, which was recently modified to permit independent heating comparison of the test results, the series included tests under conditions used previously. Significantly greater deformation was observed in heated shroud tests than would be greater from unheated shroud tests. Fabrication of fuel pin simulators for the B-5 (8x8) bundle test continued with 90% of the required number being completed. Five fuel pin simulators, identical to the simulators used in the Japanese Atomic Energy Research Institute multirod bundle burst tests, were delivered by the Japanese manufacturer. The surface tempeture distribution of the simulators was characterized for several heating rates by infrared scanning and was compared to similar characterizations of Oak Ridge National Laboratory simulators. Plans are under way for conducting burst tests on the Japanese simulators in the single-rod facility.