The heat transfer coefficient is an essential measure in the predesign of supercritical water-cooled reactors (SCWRs). At supercritical pressures, three distinct heat transfer modes exist: normal, improved, and deteriorated. The heat transfer behavior of supercritical water in the pseudo-critical range is different from that of single-phase fluids in the subcritical range. These heat transfer modes differ from those of single-phase flow at subcritical pressures, resulting in an unusual behavior of the heat transfer coefficients. Moreover, during accidental scenarios, when the operating pressure is reduced from supercritical to subcritical conditions, a boiling crisis may occur. During pressure reduction, temporary phenomena such as superheating of the cladding temperature can endanger the safe operation of SCWRs. In order to analyze operational and accidental scenarios of SCWRs, thermal-hydraulic system codes such as ATHLET are applied. However, the prediction capabilities of thermal-hydraulic system codes rely on a comprehensive validation work based on experimental data. This study presents an extensive analysis of the applicability of ATHLET at the near-critical pressure range. ATHLET is assessed against the LESHP-database and two trans-critical transient experiments. At supercritical pressures, the heat transfer coefficient correlations are evaluated with regard to their prediction accuracy and numerical problems including the “multiple solutions problems”. The trans-critical transient experiments are used to test the prediction capability of ATHLET with respect to transient heat transfer phenomena including critical heat flux, film boiling and return to nucleate boiling.