This work addresses an overview of the recent progress, associated risks and development plans of structural materials for in-vessel components (IVCs) in DEMO plants. Reduced Activation Ferritic Martensitic Steels form the primary structural materials for most DEMOs IVCs and will be the focus of the paper. An overview of EU- and J-DEMO programs RAFM steels developments is presented. We highlight the present status in their development for use in DEMO plants, with focus on the structural materials’ operational, and project orientated, requirements. The development of materials property handbooks from high quality data is illustrated. A process to validate these steels for operation in DEMO IVCs is summarised, revealing the pragmatic procedures ongoing, and limitations of this approach due to the synergistic operational effects on IVC materials; the use of in-situ or surveillance monitoring is outlined as a method to accommodate this limitation in synergistic effects and allow confidence in future DEMO operations. The development of advanced modifications to F82H and EUROFER are highlighted, with minor modifications leading to improved low and high temperature operational design space being open for DEMO reactors.