The flow and thermal non-uniformities occurring in the intermediate heat exchanger (IHX) of a liquid metal-cooled fast breeder reactor have been characterized through numerical simulations. For modeling the primary and secondary sodium flow through the IHX, an equivalent anisotropic porous medium approach has been used. The pressure drop in the equivalent porous medium is accounted through the inclusion of additional pressure drop terms in the Navier-Stokes equations, with the help of standard correlations for cross flow or parallel flow over tubes. For secondary sodium flow, the effects of a flow distributor device with orifices and baffles at the inlet have also been included, in addition to axial flow through the tubes. The heat exchange between primary and secondary streams is incorporated in the form of a volumetric heat source or sink term, which is corrected iteratively. The resulting flow distributions are in reasonable agreement with available experimental results. The study shows that the temperature of the secondary sodium flow at the exit can be made more uniform by exchanging less heat near the inner wall of IHX, as compared to the region close to the outer wall, using suitable flow distribution devices. © 2014 Atomic Energy Society of Japan. All rights reserved.