Abstract : The evaluation of radiation damage in materials submitted to intense irradiation is a challenging problem for the nuclear industry. Ion beams provide efficient tools to both simulate the interactions involved during the slowing-down of energetic particles and characterize the damage induced by irradiation with the channeling technique. This article presents new results and modeling regarding the disorder depth distribution and the damage build-up in nuclear materials irradiated with low- and high-energy ions which allow exploring the nuclear collision and electronic excitation regimes. A new phenomenon (SHIBIEC), leading to the recovery by electronic excitation of the damage created by ballistic collisions, is also discussed. 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.