Reactor vendors world-wide are examining various advanced light water reactors (ALWR) options to reach utility goals. The amount of information available about each design varies essentially depending on its maturity. Some advanced reactor designs are the evolutionary results of combining old structures, systems and components in new ways, others use innovative solutions. A summary review is given for better understanding of new ALWR design trends and approaches in different countries and subsequent R and D activities. An attempt was made to describe and assess specific innovative and passive features implemented in the leading ALWR designs for further plant design safety improvements. The advantages and disadvantages of these innovations in obtaining reliable systems have been considered. Also, this report indicates the importance of uncertainties remaining and identifies the additional work needed. 51 refs, 27 figs, 7 tabs.