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Igor Pioro, PhD - University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Oshawa, ON, CA

Igor Pioro, PhD

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

Oshawa, ON, CANADA

World-leading thermal physics expert developing new methods to enhance thermal efficiency of next generation nuclear power plants



Igor Pioro, PhD Publication Igor Pioro, PhD Publication



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Electricity is one of the world’s most vital resources; it powers industry, moves agriculture and enhances society’s standard of living. Globally, a race is underway to develop the cleanest, most energy efficient and sustainable sources of electrical-power generation. A life’s work, Igor Pioro, PhD, Professor and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science, is exploring ways to improve the thermal efficiencies of nuclear power as the key energy for future generations. Founding Editor of the ASME Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science, Dr. Pioro’s co-authored paper Nuclear Power as a Basis for Future Electricity Generation comprises an extensive study on the current and future status of global electrical-power generation.

Working within the areas of supercritical pressures/fluids and participating in development of Canada’s next generation SuperCritical Water-Cooled Reactor (SCWR) concept, Dr. Pioro has co-authored the world’s first and most comprehensive review on Heat Transfer and Hydraulic Resistance at Supercritical Pressures in Power Engineering Applications. In collaboration with his students, Dr. Pioro has devised the world’s most accurate empirical heat-transfer correlation to calculate heat transfer to supercritical water flowing in a bare tube. Using this correlation, he is examining how efficiently a reactor’s fuel rod will be cooled with water, and his goal is to increase the water temperature inside a reactor and bolster thermal efficiency, thus generating more electricity and reducing wasted energy.

Throughout his esteemed career, Dr. Pioro has been named Fellow of the Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Engineering Institute of Canada, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He has authored/co-authored more than 425 publications, including nine technical books, and received 26 patents for his inventions.

He joined UOIT in September 2006 as associate professor and served as director of the Nuclear Engineering Graduate Program from 2008 to 2013. He was appointed professor in 2011; and associate dean of the faculty in 2013. Previously, he spent six years as a senior scientist in the Thermalhydraulics Branch of Chalk River Laboratories (CRL) Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd., and was a research associate and part-time professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Ottawa between 1992 and 2000.

Industry Expertise (4)

Education/Learning Nuclear Program Development Research

Areas of Expertise (12)

Nuclear Engineering Current Reactors Generation-IV Nuclear Reactor Concepts Thermalhydraulics Supercritical-Pressure Fluids Heat Transfer Boiling Forced Convection Thermal Engineering Wickless Heat Pipes Heat-Recovery Systems

Accomplishments (10)

Fellow, Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineers (CSME) (professional)


Appointed Fellow of the CSME in recognition of excellence in engineering, and for services rendered to the profession and to Canada.

2014 Service Recognition Award, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) (professional)


Dr. Pioro received the 2014 Service Recognition Award from the ASME Nuclear Engineering Division for his contributions to nuclear engineering and his role in launching the ASME Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science.

Chief Scientific Investigator, International Atomic Energy Association (professional)


Dr. Pioro is leading the investigation under two coordinated research projects entitled: Application of Advanced Low Temperature Desalination Systems to Support Nuclear Power Plants and Non-Electric Applications, and Understanding and Prediction of Thermal-Hydraulics Phenomena Relevant to Supercritical Water-Cooled Reactors (SCWRs), between 2014 and 2017.

Honorary Degree, National Technical University of Ukraine (professional)


Received a 2013 Honorary Doctor of the National Technical University of Ukraine, Kiev Polytechnic Institute for his commitment to nuclear engineering education.

Fellow, Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC) (professional)


Appointed Fellow of the EIC in recognition of excellence in engineering and for service to the profession and society.

Fellow, ASME (professional)


Appointed Fellow of the ASME for his valued services in advancing the engineering profession as chair, Nuclear Engineering Division from 2011 to 2012.

UOIT Research Excellence Award (professional)


Recipient of the Senior Research Award for his contributions to education and research.

Chair, International Conference On Nuclear Engineering (professional)


Dr. Pioro was the first Canadian appointed to chair the world's largest International Conference On Nuclear Engineering (ICONE20 – POWER2012).

Education and Communication Award, Canadian Nuclear Society (CNS) (professional)


Recipient of the CNS Education and Communication Award for his significant efforts in improving the understanding of nuclear science and technology among educators, students, and the public.

Chair, Executive Committee, ASME Nuclear Engineering Division (professional)


Dr. Pioro was named the first Canadian to chair the Executive Committee of the ASME Nuclear Engineering Division comprised of more than 2,000 members, from 2011 to 2012.

Education (3)

Institute of Engineering Thermophysics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine: Doctor of Technical Sciences, Thermal Physics 1992

Institute of Engineering Thermophysics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine: PhD, Thermal Physics 1983

Kiev Polytechnic Institute, National Technical University of Ukraine: MASc, Thermal Physics 1979

(Diploma of Honour)

Affiliations (6)

  • Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Engineering Institute of Canada
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Canadian Nuclear Society
  • Professional Engineers Ontario
  • American Nuclear Society

Languages (3)

  • English
  • Ukrainian
  • Russian

Media Appearances (3)

UOIT Professor Dr. Igor Pioro receives honorary doctorate in Ukraine

UOIT  online


The Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science (FESNS) proudly salutes Dr. Igor Pioro, Professor, Associate Dean and Director of the Graduate Program upon receiving an honorary doctorate from the National Technical University of Ukraine, Kiev Polytechnic Institute. Dr. Pioro was presented with the distinction on June 3 in Kiev, Ukraine.

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The Leading Professor of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Igor Pioro became an honorary doctor of NTUU "KPI

National Technical University of Ukraine  online


At the meeting of the Academic Council the first associate provost of the University academician of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Yuriy Yakymenko handed a diploma, gown and memorable sign of Honorary Doctor of NTUU "KPI" to Igor Leonardovich Pioro who is a Professor of the Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (Canada). Dr. Pioro has long-standing and strong relationships with NTUU "KPI".

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UOIT nuclear engineer receives international honour

UOIT  online


The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) proudly announces that Dr. Igor Pioro, professor and director of the Graduate Program, Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science has been inducted by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) as a Fellow. The recognition of Dr. Pioro as a Fellow represents the highest grade of membership within ASME, which promotes the art, science and practice of multidisciplinary engineering and allied sciences around the world. Only 2.5 per cent of ASME’s international membership has been awarded a Fellowship.

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Event Appearances (5)

Innovative Approach to Correlate Heat Transfer Data to SuperCritical CO2 Flowing Upward in a Bare Tube in Forced Convection Regime

23rd International Conference On Nuclear Engineering (ICONE 23)  Chiba, Japan


Chair and Panelist, National Future Energy Strategy, Nuclear Energy Strategic Plan, and Nuclear Power Basis for Future Energy Production in the World as

22rd International Conference on Nuclear Engineering (ICONE 22)  Prague, Czech Republic


Specifics of Thermophysical Properties and Heat Transfer at Supercritical Pressures

Workshop on Supercritical Fluids and Energy (SFE'13)   Campinas, Brazil


Chair, Plenary Session, Nuclear Power Reactors and Fuel Cycle/Uranium Supply

BIT's 3rd New Energy Forum 2013  Xi'an, China


Keynote Lecture: Nuclear Power as a Basis for Future Electricity Production in the World

22nd International Conference on Nuclear Energy for New Europe (NENE) September, 2013  Bled, Slovenia


Research Grants (2)

Advanced Fundamental Studies on Supercritical Fluids

NSERC Discovery Grant $22,000


In collaboration with his students, Dr. Pioro has developed the most accurate heat-transfer correlation for supercritical water and other fluids flowing inside tubes.

Integration of Water Splitting Technologies for Clean Hydrogen Production in Industrial Applications

Ministry of Research and Innovation, Ontario Research Fund Research Excellence Program $40000


2011-2016. Dr. Pioro's is part of a 33-member, UOIT-led research team leading an international consortium to developing the first integrated and large-scale water splitting technologies called the copper-chlorine (Cu-Cl) cycle, as well as solar photocatalysis. This research will have major implications in the global production of hydrogen.

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Courses (6)

Thermodynamic Cycles

ENGR 2010U, 2nd Year, Undergraduate Course

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Heat Transfer

ENGR 3930U, 3rd Year, Undergraduate Course

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Nuclear Power Systems

ENGR 4460U, 4th Year, Undergraduate Course

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Thermalhydraulic Concepts for Engineers and Scientists

NUCL 5065G, Graduate Course

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Heat Transfer in Nuclear Reactor Applications

NUCL 5240G, Graduate Course

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Power Plant Thermodynamics

NUCL 5250G, Graduate Course

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Articles (10)

Power Cycles of Generation III and III+ Nuclear Power Plants Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science


Abstract: Modern advanced thermal power plants have reached very high thermal efficiencies (55–62%). In spite of that, they are still the largest emitters of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Therefore, reliable non–fossil fuel energy generation, such as nuclear power, is becoming more and more attractive. However, current nuclear power plants (NPPs) are way behind in thermal efficiency (30–42%) compared to the efficiency of advanced thermal power plants. Therefore, it is important to consider various ways to enhance the thermal efficiency of NPPs. This paper presents a comparison of thermodynamic cycles and layouts of modern NPPs and discusses ways to improve their thermal efficiencies.

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Thermal-Hydraulic and Neutronic Analysis of a Reentrant Fuel-Channel Design for Pressure-Channel Supercritical Water-Cooled Reactors Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science


Abstract: To address the need to develop new nuclear reactors with higher thermal efficiency, a group of countries, including Canada, have initiated an international collaboration to develop the next generation of nuclear reactors called Generation IV. The Generation IV International Forum (GIF) Program has narrowed design options of the nuclear reactors to six concepts one of which is the SuperCritical Water-cooled Reactor (SCWR).

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Study on Neutronics and Thermalhydraulics Characteristics of 1200-MWel Pressure-Channel Supercritical Water-Cooled Reactor Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science


Abstract: Nuclear power becomes more and more important in many countries worldwide as a basis for current and future electrical energy generation. The largest group of operating nuclear power plants (NPPs) equipped with water-cooled reactors (96% of all NPPs) has gross thermal efficiencies ranging from 30–36%. Such relatively low values of thermal efficiencies are due to lower pressures/temperatures at the inlet to a turbine (4.5–7.8  MPa/257–293°C ). However, modern combined-cycle power plants (Brayton gas-turbine cycle and subcritical-pressure steam Rankine cycle, fueled by natural gas) and supercritical-pressure coal-fired power plants have reached gross thermal efficiencies of 62% and 55%, respectively. Therefore, next generation or Generation IV NPPs with water-cooled reactors should have thermal efficiencies as close as possible to those of modern thermal power plants. A significant increase in thermal efficiencies of water-cooled NPPs can be possible only due to increasing turbine inlet parameters above the critical point of water, i.e., supercritical water-cooled reactors (SCWRs) have to be designed. This path of increasing thermal efficiency is considered as a conventional way that coal-fired power plants followed more than 50 years ago. Therefore, an objective of the current paper is a study on neutronics and thermalhydraulics characteristics of a generic 1200-MW el pressure-channel (PCh) SCWR.

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Study on Specifics of Forced-Convective Heat Transfer in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science


Abstract: The appropriate description of heat transfer to coolants at the supercritical state is limited by the current understanding. Thus, this poses one of the main challenges in the development of supercritical-fluids applications for Generation-IV reactors. Since the thermodynamic critical point of water is much higher than that of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), it is more affordable to run heat-transfer experiments in supercritical CO 2 . The data for supercritical CO 2 can be later scaled and used for supercritical water-based reactor designs. The objective of this paper is, therefore, to discuss the basis for comparison of relatively recent experimental data on supercritical CO 2 obtained at the facilities of the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) and Chalk River Laboratories (CRL) of the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). Based on the available instrumental error, a thorough analysis of experimental errors in wall- and bulk-fluid temperatures and heat transfer coefficient was conducted. A revised heat-transfer correlation for the CRL data is presented. A dimensional criterion for the onset of the deteriorated heat transfer in the form of a linear relation between heat flux and mass flux is proposed. A preliminary heat-transfer correlation for the joint CRL and KAERI datasets is presented.

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Development of Gas Cooled Reactors and Experimental Setup of High Temperature Helium Loop for In-Pile Operation Nuclear Engineering and Design


Abstract: Rapidly increasing energy and electricity demands, global concerns over the climate changes and strong dependence on foreign fossil fuel supplies are powerfully influencing greater use of nuclear power. In order to establish the viability of next-generation reactor concepts to meet tomorrow's needs for clean and reliable energy production the fundamental research and development issues need to be addressed for the Generation-IV nuclear-energy systems. Generation-IV reactor concepts are being developed to use more advanced materials, coolants and higher burn-ups fuels, while keeping a nuclear reactor safe and reliable. One of the six Generation-IV concepts is a very high temperature reactor (VHTR).

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Thermal Design Aspects of High-Efficiency Channel for SuperCritical Water-Cooled Reactors (SCWRs) Nuclear Engineering and Design


Abstract: This paper focuses on thermal-design aspects of a new pressure channel (i.e., High Efficiency Channel) for SuperCritical Water-cooled Reactors. Objectives of this paper are to estimate heat loss from the coolant to the moderator and to investigate the effects of the insulator thickness and moderator pressure on the overall heat loss. In order to meet the objectives of this study, a steady-state one-dimensional heat-transfer analysis was conducted.

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Heat Transfer Profiles of a Vertical, Bare, 7-Element Bundle Cooled with SuperCritical Freon R-12 Nuclear Engineering and Design


Abstract: Experimental datasets on simulated fuel bundles are very limited in availability. Supercritical water-cooled nuclear reactors (SCWRs), as one of the six concepts of Generation IV reactors, cannot be designed without such data. Therefore, a preliminary approach using modeling fluids such as carbon dioxide or refrigerants instead of water is practical. One of the supercritical modeling fluids typically used is Freon (R-12) with the critical pressure of 4.136 MPa and the critical temperature of 111.97 °C.

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Supercritical-Water Experimental Setup for In-Pile Operation Nuclear Engineering and Design


Abstract: The main goal of the Generation-IV nuclear-energy systems is to address the fundamental research and development issues necessary for establishing the viability of next-generation reactor concepts to meet future needs for clean and reliable energy production. One of the six Generation-IV concepts is a supercritical water-cooled reactor (SCWR), which continues the utilization of well-known light-water-reactor technologies. Research Centre Rez Ltd. has taken part in a large European joint-research project dedicated to Generation-IV light-water reactors with objectives to contribute to the fundamental research and development of the SCWRs by designing and building a test facility called “supercritical water loop (SCWL)”. The main objective of this loop is to serve as an experimental facility for in-core and out-of-core corrosion studies of structural materials, testing and optimization of suitable water chemistry for future SCWRs, studies of water radiolysis at supercritical conditions and nuclear fuels. This paper summarizes the concept of the SCWL, its design, utilization and first results obtained from non-active tests already performed within the supercritical-water conditions.

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Developing Empirical Heat-Transfer Correlations for Supercritical CO2 Flowing in Vertical Bare Tubes Nuclear Engineering and Design


Abstract: This paper presents an analysis of three new heat-transfer correlations developed for SuperCritical (SC) carbon dioxide (CO2) flowing in vertical bare tubes. These correlations were developed from the large set of experimental data obtained at Chalk River Laboratories (CRL), AECL (2003). The dataset consists of tests performed in upward flow of CO2 inside 8-mm ID vertical Inconel-600 tube with a 2.208-m heated length.

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Progress of International Hydrogen Production Network for the Thermochemical Cu–Cl Cycle International Journal of Hydrogen Energy


Abstract: This paper presents recent advances by an international team which is developing the thermochemical copper–chlorine (Cu–Cl) cycle for hydrogen production. Development of the Cu–Cl cycle has been pursued by several countries within the framework of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) for hydrogen production with the next generation of nuclear reactors.

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