Nuclear Thermal Hydraulics
The field of nuclear thermal hydraulics has begun to greatly benefit from full three dimensional CFD for component level modelling. Previously, simpler 1D systems codes (such as Relap and TRACE) were exclusively used, relying heavily on very extensive use of correlations from experimental results.
With improvements in computational power and investment in research, nuclear design is progressively turning to full 3D CFD to aid design processes, particularly for flows within more complicated volumes such as the reactor core.
Current areas of interest include multi-phase modelling to accurately predict Critical Heat Flux (CHF) and the study of heat transport in non-circular ducts.
If the primary loop of a reactor can safely operate while driven solely by natural circulation, a significamt increase in reactor safety can be achieved. CFD is of great interest in aiding the design of these so-called "Generation IV" reactors.