Information

Recent Meetings organized/hosted

Perspectives on 70 Years of the Nuclear Age: From Berkeley, a Birthplace of the Atomic Bomb, September 30 - October 1, 2015, The Drawing Room, Berkeley City Club, Funded by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and organized by Center for Japanese Studies, UC Berkeley. Meeting information is here.

International Symposium on Radiological Resilience and Beyond. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, April 10, 2015, Building 50 Auditorium、Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA. Meeting information. Organized by Institute for Resilient Communities, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

International Workshop on Nuclear Safety: From Accident Mitigation to Resilient Society Facing Extreme Situations. March 22-24, 2015, 170 Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley. Meeting information. Funded by France Berkeley Fund and Center for Japanese Studies, UC Berkeley. Supported by Mines ParisTech, Resilience Engineering Center, University of Tokyo, Institute for Resilient Communities, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Department of Nuclear Engineering, UC Berkeley.

A Chapter in a newly-published Book from Springer

J. Ahn and S. Nakayama, Performance Assessment of the Radioactive Waste Disposal System In: S. Nagasaki and S. Nakayama (Eds.) Radioactive Waste Engineering and Management, eBook ISBN: 978-4-431-55417-2; DOI: 10.1007/978-4-431-55417-2; Hardcover ISBN: 978-4-431-55416-5, Springer Tokyo, 2015.

A Book has been Published from Springer

J. Ahn, C. Carson, M. Jensen, K. Juraku, S. Nagasaki, and S. Tanaka (Eds) Reflections on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident: Toward Social-Scientific Literacy and Engineering Resilience. Full contents are available for free in pdf. Print version is also available. Order here .

Recent Conference Presentations

Xudong Liu, Joonhong Ahn, Fumio Hirano (JAEA), A Criticality Safety Study for the Disposal of Damaged Fuel Debris, International High-Level Radioactive Waste Management Conference, Charleston, SC, USA, 12-16, April 2015. American Nuclear Society.

Seung Min Woo and Joonhong Ahn, The uncertainty of Pu to Cm244 ratio in spent fuel, International High-Level Radioactive Waste Management Conference, Charleston, SC, USA, 12-16, April 2015. American Nuclear Society.

Alex Salazar and Joonhong Ahn, Modeling the Accumulation of Thermally Fissile Materials in HLW Repository, International High-Level Radioactive Waste Management Conference, Charleston, SC, USA, 12-16, April 2015. American Nuclear Society.

Recent publications

Xudong Liu, Joonhong Ahn, Fumio Hirano (2014) Conditions for criticality by uranium deposition in water-saturated geological formations. Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology. See here.

Esra Orucoglu, Bret P. van den Akker, Joonhong Ahn (2014) Effects of depth on transport of 129I in crystalline rock. Annals of Nuclear Energy 73:304–316. See here.

Joonhong Ahn (2014) Roles and effects of pyroprocessing for spent nuclear fuel management in South Korea. Progress in Nuclear Energy 75:49-62. See here.

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Biography

Education

B.S. Nuclear Engineering, University of Tokyo, 1981
M.S. Nuclear Engineering, University of Tokyo, 1983
Ph.D. Nuclear Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 1988
D.Eng. Nuclear Engineering, University of Tokyo, 1989

Academic Positions

Junior Scientist, Japan Society for Promotion of Science, 1988-1990
Lecturer, Department of Nuclear Engineering, University of Tokyo, 1990-1993
Assistant Professor, Department of Nuclear Engineering, Tokai University, 1993-1995
Assistant Professor, Department of Nuclear Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 1995-1999
Associate Professor, Department of Nuclear Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 1999-2007
Professor, Department of Nuclear Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2007-present
Geological Faculty Scientist, Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2012-present
Vice chair, Department of Nuclear Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2013-present
Core Faculty Member, Center for Japanese Studies, Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2014-present

Activities in Research and Education

Prof. Ahn has been active in conducting research and education in interfacial areas between technology and society, but primarily on the engineering side of the interface. His major research field is performance assessment for geological disposal of radioactive wastes and nuclear fuel-cycle systems. In performance assessment, such performance metrics as radiological risk, criticality safety, and proliferation resistance are quantitatively evaluated for individual components and for the entire system, based on detailed mathematical modeling and computational analyses for mass transfer and transport. Through such modelings and analyses, relationship among parameters related to the fuel-cycle system and the geologic repository is being established, which is essential for global optimization of the nuclear-power system from the viewpoint of risk minimization. Research grants were awarded by the US Department of Energy, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), National Science Foundation, Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Central Research Institute for Electric Power Industries, Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power, and Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI). He stayed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2002 for his sabbatical with full financial support from the Laboratory. He participated in the Coordinate Research Project by International Atomic Energy Agency for the topic of Role of Partitioning and Transmutation of High-Level Radioactive Wastes for Minimization of Environmental Impacts from Nuclear Fuel Cycle between 2002 and 2008.

In addition to such technical research, he has been active in the fields of nuclear power utilization in Asia-Pacific region and Science-Technology-Society (STS) interaction in the back-end of fuel cycle. Activities related to Asia-Pacific nuclear utilization started by participating in the three-year research project (1992-95) funded by the Japanese Government. After he joined Berkeley faculty in 1995, he organized a series of international symposia by inviting scholars from Asian countries in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2004, held respectively in Berkeley, Honolulu, Taipei, and Beijing, Jakarta, Taejon, and Tokyo, with co-sponsorship of Tokai University. Proceedings were compiled by him as the principal editor. His recent activities in the Asia-Pacific nuclear issues have focused the nuclear cooperation agreement issue (so-called 123 agreement) between the US and the Republic of Korea. Prof. Ahn organized two workshops hosted by CISAC, Stanford University in 2010 and 2011, and the symposium hosted by Institute of East Asian Studies, UC Berkeley in 2014.

For the STS interaction, he led two projects for development of advanced educational materials: Scientific and Regulatory Basis for Environmental Protection in Nuclear Fuel Cycle (US NRC), and Development of advanced nuclear engineering education programs for social-scientific literacy (Global Center of Excellence Program collaboration with University of Tokyo, or GoNERI). In these projects, he collaborated with experts in humanities and social sciences. After the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident in 2011, he was offered numerous opportunities to give talks at various organizations in the US, Japan, South Korea and other places (see here for the list), including governmental agencies, law and medical schools, liberal arts colleges, policy studies, high schools, etc. Through dialogues and discussions with people in various fields, he developed a book as the chief editor, titled Reflections on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident: Toward Social-Scientific Literacy and Engineering Resilience, published in January 2015. He expanded his interest toward two directions: engineering ethics education and engineering resilience. For the engineering ethics education, he participated in a NSF-funded project as a co-PI with Professor W. E. Kastenberg and Professor Cathryn Carson. For engineering resilience as a new paradigm of safety, he started collaboration with researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and experts in Europe and Japan. In March 2015, organized an international workshop for this topic with researchers at Mines Paris Tech, the University of Tokyo, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In April 2015, the Institute for Resilient Communities was established in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with the leadership of Professor Kai Vetter, Dr. Rebecca Abergel, Dr. Jens Birkholzer, him and other colleagues at LBNL.

These past and current research activities are connected and directed toward "responsible innovation" for public good, fairness, equity, and prosperity, in nuclear power utilization, exploring solutions for long-lived, toxic radioactive materials, i.e., "exit strategy".

For those who can read Japanese, see also here.

Updated, August 2015

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