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Akira Tokuhiro, PhD - University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Oshawa, ON, CA

Akira Tokuhiro, PhD

Dean, Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science | University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Oshawa, ON, Canada

Prominent nuclear design, engineering and safety expert brings leadership and severe nuclear accident analytics skills to UOIT



Akira Tokuhiro, PhD Publication







Few people understand the complexity of analyzing a severe nuclear reactor accident and its environmental consequences better than international nuclear energy expert Akira Tokuhiro, PhD. His contributions to the American Nuclear Society’s President’s Committee on the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in Japan led him to co-author a book on the disaster. With an interest in big data analytics, he has been instrumental in guiding global nuclear energy design, engineering and safety research with U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) support, and at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, and Switzerland’s Paul Scherrer Institute.

Appointed Dean of the Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science, Dr. Tokuhiro brings over 20 years of diverse nuclear engineering experience in academia and industry to UOIT. Most recently he served as Senior Principal Engineer of NuScale Power LLC, a nuclear energy startup company in Corvallis, Oregon, funded by the DOE and Fluor Corporation. In this role, he developed the technical basis of the Emergency Planning Zone of the NuScale Small Modular Reactor, which led the company to complete the first-ever submission of the Design Certification Application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) in January 2017. From 2007 to 2014, he served as Professor of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, and Director of the Nuclear Engineering Graduate Program at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho.

Previously, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas; as well as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, and Director and USNRC Senior Reactor Operator of the research reactor at the University of Missouri in Rolla, Missouri. Dr. Tokuhiro has earned numerous awards for contributions to his field, and for his mentorship of graduate students. He holds great interest in developing computational methods and experimental validation of nuclear reactor accidents, and energy systems analysis. His research has been published in more than 150 journal and conference papers.

He completed his Bachelor of Science in Engineering (Engineering Physics) at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, then earned his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Rochester in New York State. His interests shifted to nuclear energy and he returned to Purdue to obtain his Doctorate in Nuclear Engineering.

Industry Expertise (8)

Education/Learning Energy Nuclear Public Safety Plant Engineering and Operations Program Development Research Safety

Areas of Expertise (11)

Nuclear Systems Design Nuclear Engineering Nuclear Reactor Safety Energy and Resource Issues Big Data Analytics Computational Fluid Dynamics Convective Heat Transfer Experiments and Measurement Modelling of Complex Systems Thermal Hydraulics Ultrasonic and Particle Velocimetry

Accomplishments (1)

Donald Crawford Graduate Faculty Mentoring Award, University of Idaho (professional)


Dr. Tokuhiro was honoured for his efforts to mentor graduate students.

Education (3)

Purdue University: PhD, Nuclear Engineering 1991

University of Rochester: MS, Mechanical Engineering 1984

Purdue University: BS, Engineering Science (Physics) 1981

Affiliations (1)

  • American Nuclear Society

Languages (2)

  • English
  • Japanese

Media Appearances (3)

Seven years since Fukushima: what has changed in Ontario

UOIT News  online


After the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in Japan, the Province of Ontario initiated a review of policies and approaches governing preparations for responding to potential nuclear emergency in Ontario.

In revising the Provincial Nuclear Emergency Response Plan (PNERP), the province sought input from the public. It also established a five-member PNERP Advisory Group to review stakeholder comments and offer its recommendations to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

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Distinguished nuclear engineering professor appointed Dean of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science

UOIT News  online


The University of Ontario Institute of Technology announces the appointment of Dr. Akira Tokuhiro, PhD, as Dean of the Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science, effective Monday, February 6, 2017.

Akira Tokuhiro is a noted international expert in all aspects of nuclear reactor engineering, design and safety. He served on the American Nuclear Society's President's Committee on the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident in Japan, and was technical co-author of a book on the accident.

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Interview with Akira Tokuhiro, Nuclear Engineer: Fukushima and the Mass Media

The World Post  online


“Only the mass media can put the kind of pressure on TEPCO and the Japanese government to bring about major change. This will cost at least 10 billion dollars if not 20-30 billion to clean up. It will take at least 10 years if not 20 and roughly 10,000 people working on the cleanup. The nuclear business is global. This needs an international effort to clean up Fukushima.”
— Nuclear Engineer Akira Tokuhiro

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Event Appearances (10)

Simulation-based Stochastic Optimization of a Dry, Used Nuclear Fuel Storage Array for Nuclear Criticality Safety

International Conference on Nuclear Criticality Safety  Charlotte, North Carolina


Branch-and-Bound Algorithm Applied to Dynamic PRA with Uncertainty Quantification for LWR Station Blackout

23rd International Conference on Nuclear Engineering, ICONE-23  Tokyo, Japan


CFD Analysis of the ¼-Scale Air Reactor Cavity Cooling System with Focus on the Inlet Plenum

23rd International Conference on Nuclear Engineering, ICONE-23  Tokyo, Japan


Characterizing Single- to Two-Phase Flow Behavior in a Crosscutting RCCS Design with Decay Heat Variation

23rd International Conference on Nuclear Engineering, ICONE-23  Tokyo, Japan


Emerging Regulatory Requirements and Industry Practices on Emergency Preparedness in the Post-Fukushima Operations Era

23rd International Conference on Nuclear Engineering, ICONE-23  Tokyo, Japan


Lesson Learnt from Fukushima

5th Annual Nuclear Supply Chain Conference  Charlotte, North Carolina


Supply Chain Management in the Global Market, Bridging the Divide Between Vendor, Utility and Supplier

Nuclear Exchange 2013  Shanghai-Suzhou, China


The Realities and Consequences of the Post-Quake and Tsunami Fukushima NPP Incidents

Nuclear Exchange 2011  MECC Conference Centre, Maastricht, Netherlands


Production of Energetic Light Fragments with Expanded Cascade Exciton Model (CEM)

2014 ANS Annual Meeting  Reno, Nevada


Is the Food in Safe in Japan?

American Chamber of Commerce Japan Conference, Meeting on Food Safety (Post-Fukushima)  American Chamber of Commerce, Tokyo, Japan


Articles (10)

Branch-and-Bound Algorithm Applied to Uncertainty Quantification of a Boiling Water Reactor Station Blackout Nuclear Engineering and Design


Evaluation of the impacts of uncertainty and sensitivity in modeling presents a significant set of challenges in particular to high fidelity modeling. Computational costs and validation of models creates a need for cost effective decision making with regards to experiment design. Experiments designed to validate computation models can be used to reduce uncertainty in the physical model. In some cases, large uncertainty in a particular aspect of the model may or may not have a large impact on the final results.

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Optimization Method to Branch-and-Bound Large SBO State Spaces Under Dynamic Probabilistic Risk Assessment via Use of LENDIT Scales and S2R2 Sets Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology


Traditional probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) methods have been developed to evaluate risk associated with complex systems; however, PRA methods lack the capability to evaluate complex dynamic systems. In these systems, time and energy scales associated with transient events may vary as a function of transition times and energies to arrive at a different physical state. Dynamic PRA (DPRA) methods provide a more rigorous analysis of complex dynamic systems.

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Comparison Between Single- and Two-Phase Heat Transfer in a Thermally Stratified Enclosure International Journal of Thermal Sciences


The ratio of local Nusselt number of two-phase natural convection, Nuy, two, to local Nusselt, Nuy, single, number of single-phase natural convection was empirically determined. Gelatin particles were immersed in a custom-built rectangular enclosure. With one end maintained at a thermal high, the particles settling and thermal enhancement characteristics were analyzed.

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Natural Convection Heat Transfer of Hydrophilic Particle Suspension: Implications on Nuclear Waste Remediation International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer


Natural convection of gel suspension has the potential to be applied to particulate recovery systems, such as in the dynamic filtering of radioactive waste particles. In this study, experiments were conducted to assess natural convection of gradually settling gelatin particle suspension in a rectangular cell, relative to single-phase natural convection with bulk temperature stratification, and to derive empirically a transfer relationship.

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Effects of Adverse and Favorable Pressure Gradients on Entropy Generation in a Transitional Boundary Layer Region Under the Influence of Freestream Turbulence International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer


Fundamental understanding of the entropy generation process in characteristic wall shear flows is developed. For entropy generated by fluid friction, the rates are predictable for developed turbulent flows and pure laminar flows. The main concern lies in prediction for flows undergoing so-called “bypass” transition from laminar to turbulent state. In this study, the entropy generation process in the bypass transition scenario is investigated for a flat plate boundary layer under effects of adverse and favorable pressure gradients.

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Morphological Analysis of Zirconium Nuclear Fuel Retaining Rods Braided with SiC: Quality Assurance and Defect Identification Journal of Nuclear Materials


In the after-Fukushima world, the stability of materials under extreme conditions is an important issue for the safety of nuclear reactors. Among the methods explored currently to improve zircaloys' thermal stability in off-normal conditions, using a protective coat of the SiC filaments is considered because silicon carbide is well known for its remarkable chemical inertness at high temperatures. A typical SiC fiber contains ~50,000 individual filaments of 5 – 10 µm in diameter. In this paper, an effort was made to develop and apply mathematical morphology to the process of automatic defect identification in Zircaloy-4 rods braided with the protective layer of the silicon carbide filament.

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Ultra-High Temperature Steam Corrosion of Complex Silicates for Nuclear Applications: A Computational Study Journal of Nuclear Materials


Stability of materials under extreme conditions is an important issue for safety of nuclear reactors. Presently, silicon carbide (SiC) is being studied as a cladding material candidate for fuel rods in boiling-water and pressurized water-cooled reactors (BWRs and PWRs) that would substitute or modify traditional zircaloy materials. The rate of corrosion of the SiC ceramics in hot vapor environment (up to 2200 °C) simulating emergency conditions of light water reactor (LWR) depends on many environmental factors such as pressure, temperature, viscosity, and surface quality.

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Oxidation and Hydrogen Uptake in Zirconium, Zircaloy-2 and Zircaloy-4: Computational Thermodynamics and Ab Initio Calculations Journal of Nuclear Materials


Zirconium-based alloys Zircaloy-2 and Zircaloy-4 are widely used in nuclear industry as cladding materials for BWRs and PWRs, respectively. Over more than 60 years these materials displayed a very good combination of properties such as low neutron absorption, creep behavior, stress-corrosion cracking resistance, reduced hydrogen uptake, corrosion, and/or oxidation, especially in the case of Zircaloy-4 [1–3]. However, over the last couple of years energetic efforts were undertaken to improve their oxidation resistance during off-normal temperature excursions, as well as to further improve upon the already achieved levels of mechanical behavior and reduced hydrogen uptake [1–3].

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Influences of Boil-Off on the Behavior of a Two-Phase Natural Circulation Loop International Journal of Multiphase Flow


This experimental study investigates the thermal hydraulic behavior and boiling mechanisms present in a natural circulation loop experiencing boil-off. Extended duration tests with inventory loss were conducted to examine the transient behavior of a test loop under constant heat load.

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Computational and Experimental Prediction of Dust Production in Pebble Bed Reactors, Part II Nuclear Engineering and Design


This paper is the continuation of Part I, which describes the high temperature and high pressure helium environment wear tests of graphite–graphite in frictional contact. In the present work, it has been attempted to simulate a Pebble Bed Reactor core environment as compared to Part I. The experimental apparatus, which is a custom-designed tribometer, is capable of performing wear tests at PBR relevant higher temperatures and pressures under a helium environment.

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