The stability of the face-centred cubic austenite (γ-Fe) phase in a commercial stainless steel (AISI-348) was investigated through in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with heavy ion irradiation at 1073 K up to a fluence of 1.3×10 17 ions⋅cm −2 (corresponding to a dose of 46 dpa). The γ-Fe phase was observed to decompose at a fluence of around 7.8×10 15 ions⋅cm −2 (3 dpa) when a new phase nucleated and grew upon increasing irradiation dose. Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) with energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy and multivariate statistical analysis (MVSA) were used to characterise the irradiated specimens. The combination of such experimental techniques with calculated equilibrium phase diagrams using the CALPHAD method led to the conclusion that the new phase formed upon irradiation is the body-centred cubic Cr-rich α' phase. At the nanoscale, precipitation of M 23C 6 (τ-carbide) was also observed. The results indicate that ion irradiation can assist the austenitic stainless steel to reach a non-equilibrium state similar to a calculated equilibrium state observed at lower temperatures.