A new ultrasonic technique for detecting the infiltrated water in leaked fuel rods is developed. Propagation characteristics of the circumferential Lamb waves in the cladding tubes are estimated by the resonance scattering theory. The Lamb waves are excited by the resonance backscattering of ultrasonic pulses. In sound fuel rods, the existence of the Lamb waves is revealed by a series of periodic echoes. In leaked fuel rods, however, the Lamb waves are perturbed strongly by the scattered waves from the surface of fuel pellets, thus the periodic echoes are not observed.