ENEA (Italy) in co-operation with CEA (France) has carried out an R&D activity aimed at increasing the reliability of Decay Heat Removal (DHR) passive systems that implement in-pool heat exchangers. The main outcome reached was the definition of a device, called Thermal Valve (TV), able to avoid the installation of mechanical valve on the primary circuit, thus reducing thermal-mechanical constrains and thermal-hydraulic instabilities. This paper presents a preliminary assessment performed with CATHARE of this innovative device. In the first part the code capability to simulate in-pool heat exchangers is verified against experimental data of the PANDA facility, that are available within the frame of the ISP 42. In the second part a CATHARE calculation showing the performances of the PANDA passive condenser with TV (start-up and shutdown) is described.