Steady-state natural circulation data obtained in a 7 m-tall experimental loop with carbon dioxide and nitrogen are presented in this paper. The loop was originally designed to encompass operating range of a prototype gas-cooled fast reactor passive decay heat removal system, but the results and conclusions are applicable to any natural circulation loop operating in regimes having buoyancy and acceleration parameters within the ranges validated in this loop. Natural circulation steady-state data are compared to numerical predictions by two system analysis codes: GAMMA and RELAP5-3D. GAMMA is a computational tool for predicting various transients which can potentially occur in a gas-cooled reactor. The code has a capability of analyzing multi-dimensional multi-component mixtures and includes models for friction, heat transfer, chemical reaction, and multi-component molecular diffusion. Natural circulation data with two gases show that the loop operates in the deteriorated turbulent heat transfer (DTHT) regime which exhibits substantially reduced heat transfer coefficients compared to the forced turbulent flow. The GAMMA code with an original heat transfer package predicted conservative results in terms of peak wall temperature. However, the estimated peak location did not successfully match the data. Even though GAMMA's original heat transfer package included mixed-convection regime, which is a part of the DTHT regime, the results showed that the original heat transfer package could not reproduce the data with sufficient accuracy. After implementing a recently developed correlation and corresponding heat transfer regime map into GAMMA to cover the whole range of the DTHT regime, we obtained better agreement with the data. RELAP5-3D results are discussed in parallel. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.