Zirconate pyrochlores, A2Zr2O7, are important potential nuclear waste forms for Puimmobilization. The binary Gd2(Ti2-xZrx)O7 has been shown to have increasing resistance to ionirradiation damage with the increasing Zr content, and Gd2Zr2O7 is radiation resistant to a 1 MeV Kr+ ion irradiation at 25 K to a dose of 5 dpa. In this study, a 1.5 MeV Xe+ irradiation was completed for zirconate pyrochlores A2Zr2O7 (A=La, Nd, Sm, Gd). The radiation resistance decreases with an increase of the ionic radius of A-site cation. La2Zr2O7 is the first zirconate pyrochlore to be amorphized by ion beam irradiation, and the critical amorphization temperature, Tc, is ∼310 K. The susceptibility of La2Zr2O7 to ion beam damage is related to its structure, which shows the largest deviation from the ideal fluorite structure. These results are also consistent with calculations of the cation antisite formation energy in the pyrochlore structure. The ion irradiation-induced pyrochlore-to-fluorite transformation occurred in all of the irradiated zirconate pyrochlore phases. Based on the results for Gd2Ti2-xZrxO7 and A2Zr2O7, the defect fluorite structures are stable when the ionic radii ratio rA/rB≤1.54; beyond this limit, the defect fluorite structure becomes increasingly unstable relative to the amorphous state.