Serious mechanical damages such as cracks and plastic deformations due to excessive thermal stress caused by thermal stratification have been experienced in several nuclear power plants. In particular, the thermal stratification in the pressurizer surge line has been addressed as one of the significant safety and technical issues. In this study, a detailed unsteady computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis involving conjugate heat transfer analysis is performed to obtain the transient temperature distributions in the wall of the pressurizer surge line subjected to stratified internal flows either during out-surge or in-surge operation. The thermal loads from CFD calculations are transferred to the structural analysis code which is employed for the thermal stress analysis to investigate the response characteristics, and the fatigue analysis is ultimately performed. In addition, the thermal stress and fatigue analysis results obtained by applying the realistic temperature distributions from CFD calculations are compared with those by assuming the simplified temperature distributions to identify some requirements for a realistic and conservative thermal stress analysis from a safety point of view. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.