We have presented a mechanism to explain why the resulting oxide morphology becomes a porous or a tubular nanostructure when a zircaloy is electrochemically anodized. A porous zirconium oxide nanostructure is always formed at an initial anodization stage, but the degree of interpore dissolution determines whether the final morphology is nanoporous or nanotubular. The interpore dissolution rate can be tuned by changing the anodization parameters such as anodization time and water content in an electrolyte. Consequently, porous or tubular oxide nanostructures can be selectively fabricated on a zircaloy surface by controlling the parameters. Based on this mechanism, zirconium oxide layers with completely nanoporous, completely nanotubular, and intermediate morphologies between a nanoporous and a nanotubular structure were controllably fabricated.