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The effects of a hydrogen gas environment on the fatigue characteristics of a type 304 austenitic stainless steel were investigated and the following results were obtained. The hydrogen effect is not clearly seen by judging fatigue life diagram. However, crack initiation retards and crack propagation accelerates in hydrogen gas environment. The retardation seems to be caused by the absence of oxygen and water vapour. The acceleration seems to be caused by the intrinsic hydrogen effect.