One of the limiting conditions during operation of a Pressurized Water Reactor is cladding integrity in case of occurrence of any conditions I or II events. The decoupling criterion is the absence of Departure from Nucleate Boiling (DNB) during the full sequence of any of these transients. Heat transfer between the clad and the water is limited by the DNB phenomenon when local surface heat flux is greater than the so-called Critical Heat Flux (CHF). Heat production at the surface is higher than heat removal capacity by the coolant therefore a vapor blanket is formed around the clad; consequently the heat transfer will drastically drop resulting in a sudden significant increase of the local wall temperature and clad damage may appear if no corrective action is initiated. DNB can not be estimated with physical principles only. Experimental support is needed for evaluation. Occurrence of DNB is evaluated using the Departure from Nucleate Boiling Ratio (DNBR) which is a function of both core thermal hydraulic (T/H) parameters and design of the fuel assembly. Advanced fuel assemblies claim higher CHF values compared to previous designs. Along with increased DNB performances for advanced fuel assemblies, CHF correlation development and advanced methodologies enable to extend normal operating conditions of a nuclear plant. On the one hand, CHF performances really increased allow additional margin related to the loss of fuel cladding integrity whereas on the other hand optimized correlations and advanced methodologies reduce this margin. An accurate assessment of the CHF performance of the advanced fuel assemblies is therefore required. This paper will raise issues regarding the assessment of the CHF performance of new advanced fuel assemblies design. The issues will be focused on the reliability of the experimental assessment of the CHF values and the accuracy of the transposition of mock up geometries to plant core configuration (representativity of the experiments). The verification that the tests conditions (pressure, flowrate, quality, heat flux …) ensure a proper coverage of all core conditions encountered during any of the conditions I & II transients is closely linked to DNBR methods and will not be extensively covered in this paper. This paper suggests some thoughts about relevance of the demonstration carried out by vendors on these matters.

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