Reduced-activation ferritic/martensitic (RAFM) steel is the benchmark structural material for in-vessel components of fusion reactor. The current status of RAFM developments and evaluations is reviewed based on two leading RAFM steels, F82H and EUROFER-97. The applicability of various joining technologies for fabrication of fusion first wall and blanket structures, such as weld or diffusion bonding, is overviewed as well. The technical challenges and potential risks of utilizing RAFM steels as the structural material of in-vessel components are discussed, and possible mitigation methodology is introduced. The discussion suggests that deuterium–tritium fusion neutron irradiation effects currently need to be treated as an ambiguity factor which could be incorporated within the safety factor. The safety factor will be defined by the engineering design criteria which are not yet developed with regard to irradiation effects and some high temperature process, and the operating time condition of the in-vessel component will be defined by the condition at which those ambiguities due to neutron irradiation become too large to be acceptable, or by the critical condition at which 14 MeV fusion neutron irradiation effects is expected to become different from fission neutron irradiation effects.