Ultra-low friction between shells of multiwalled carbon nanotubes indicates that, when the nanotubes are used as reinforcement agents, the mechanical load is carried by the outermost shell of the tube only. We suggest using small-dose electron or ion irradiation to partially transfer the load to the nanotube inner shells. Employing analytical potential molecular dynamics, we simulate the response of multiwalled nanotubes to an external force acting on one of the shells with irradiation-induced defects which bridge adjacent shells. We demonstrate that a small number of defects can increase the interlayer shear strength by several orders of magnitude. We further discuss how the irradiation-induced load transfer can be measured experimentally and how, by manipulating the particle beam characteristics, one can improve the load transfer between preselected shells.