Zirconium alloys used widely in nuclear industry as fuel claddings are prone to violent oxidation in water steam atmosphere in the case of loss of coolant accident (LOCA). Accompanying generation of large quantities of heat and explosive gaseous hydrogen may lead to destruction of nuclear core. As the safety of nuclear installations is of primary importance, intensive research works are conducted on the development of so-called accident tolerant fuels much less prone to oxidation. In this paper, the application of external zirconium-silicide coatings deposited by magnetron sputtering is proposed. The preliminary results of their synthesis and studies of air oxidation properties at elevated temperatures are presented.