In-vessel retention through external reactor vessel cooling (IVR-ERVC) is a severe accident management strategy that removes the decay heat from the molten corium in the reactor vessel by flooding the reactor cavity. In ERVC conditions, the critical heat flux (CHF) on the outer wall of the vessel is a crucial factor that indicates a thermal margin of the system. Previous studies used averaged mass flux to predict CHF (Haramura and Katto, 1983; Lee and Mudawwar, 1988, Katto, 1990; Jeong et al., 2005; Park et al., 2013). The averaged value cannot indicate the degree of liquid supply which is the most critical factor in the CHF model. Local liquid velocity near the heated surface is one of the most crucial factors that should be quantified to develop a CHF model. In this study, the local liquid velocity near the surface has been measured. A curved rectangular flow channel was devised to simulate the gap between the external reactor vessel wall and the insulation. The boiling heat transfer and CHF were simulated with air injection at the inner wall of the test section. In the experiment, the flow field under the simulated ERVC conditions was measured using the particle image velocimetry (PIV) technique. The PIV measurement was validated by comparing the measured velocity data and the analytic solution under circular pipe flow. The liquid velocity profile at the middle plane of the curved rectangular test section was obtained in the multiple mass flux and inclination angle conditions. Based on the velocity data, a local velocity correlation was developed. The local velocity correlation was applied to improve the CHF prediction model. (C) 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd.