This paper reports on the development of a model for estimating the temperature distributions in the reactor core, core barrel, thermal shield and reactor pressure vessel of a PWR during an undercooling transient. A number of numerical calculations simulating the core uncovering of the TMI-2 reactor and the subsequent heat-up of the core have been performed. The results of the calculations show that the exothermic heat release due to Zircaloy oxidation contributes to the sharp heat-up of the core. However, the core barrel temperature rise which is driven by the temperature increase of the edge of the core (e. g. , the core baffle) is very modest. The maximum temperature of the core barrel never exceeded 610 K (at a system pressure of 68 bar) after a 75 minute simulation following the start of core uncovering.