Program for Advanced Graduate Education system for nuclear science and engineering with Social scientific literacy

Background and Motivation

As one of the core parts of GoNERI program, special emphasis is placed on integrating nuclear science and engineering with social science. Among many other areas in the nuclear field, we recognize the particular relevance of social-scientific approaches to the nuclear fuel cycle and radioactive waste disposal. It is imperative that the new generation of nuclear engineers understand societal aspects of nuclear technologies sufficiently to serve the public good. However, as faculty members and students in nuclear science and engineering, we do not yet have sufficient command of the fundamentals of the social sciences (such as their domain, concepts terminology, methodology, etc.), which limits us in collaborating with social scientists. This must be corrected.


The objective is to provide students with an awareness of social science perspectives and the capability to put them to work in improving society's ability to make difficult and long-term decisions. We will do this by establishing a systematically integrated program for nuclear engineering graduate students. Toward this objective, the following milestones are set:
  1. Identification of challenges in social science and approach methods toward the solution by a series of bi-weekly seminars and field trips (FY 2008) (see below)
  2. Carrying out exploration toward the solution: Devising and implementing a summer school (FY 2009 and 2010). Feedback, self-assessment, and improvement of contents and methods.
  3. Publication of a reference handbook regarding the interdisciplinary education and research on nuclear engineering and social science
  4. Establishment of an advanced nuclear engineering education program that provides students with basic analytical capability by social scientific approaches for societal issues associated with nuclear technologies

Summer School and lectures

2009/02/03, 3-4 pm (PST): Social Decision Making Process on Science and Technology, Kohta Juraku, Assistant Professor, GoNERI, The University of Tokyo [slides]
Invited lecture in UCB course NE24, "Society, Environment, and Nuclear Power" (Joonhong Ahn)

2010/07/25-08/02, 2010 Advanced Summer School of Nuclear Engineering and Management with Social-Scientific Literacy, Hawaii Tokai International College (HTIC), Honolulu

Academic Conferences

2009/03/23: Collaborations of engineers and social scientists toward creation of education program for societal aspects of nucelar energy,
Takuji Oda, Kohta Juraku, Daisuke Kawasaki, Hiroshi Kimura, Shinya Nagasaki, Satoru Tanaka and Joonhong Ahn,
2009 Annual Meeting of Atomic Energy Society of Japan, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan
[slides] [summary]

2009/03/24: Strategic planning for future nuclear power development, Joonhong Ahn,
Joint special session by Divisions of Back-end and Reprocessing/Recycle, 2009 Annual Meeting of Atomic Energy Society of Japan, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan (invited)
[slides] [Article in Denki Shimbun]

2009/10/31: Session 184: The Path-finding Process for Nuclear Waste Disposal,
2009 Annual Meeting of Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), Hyatt Regency, Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia
The session program and presented slides are archived here.

2010/03/05-06: PAGES Workshop on "Advanced Engineering Education with Social Scientific Literacy",
Kojima Hall, The University of Tokuo, Japan

Bi-weekly seminars

If a link to a presentation file is not shown here, it may be stored here [password protected].

  1. 2008/04/29 5-8pm (PST): Introductory discussions, led by Hiroshi Kimura, Associate Professor, UTNEM
  2. 2008/05/13 5-8pm (PST): Sociological aspects of technologies: Wind power as an example, led by Kohta Juraku, Assitant Professor, GoNERI
  3. 2008/06/03 5-8pm (PST): State of the art for disposal technologies 1, led by Ryutaro Wada, Radioactive Waste Management Center
  4. 2008/06/24 5-8pm (PST): State of the art for disposal technologies 2, led by Ryutaro Wada, Radioactive Waste Management Center
  5. 2008/07/15 5-8pm (PST): What needs to be achieved by GoNERI for social science integration?, Joonhong Ahn, Professor, UCBNE [slides]
  6. 2008/07/31 5-8pm (PST): Ethical issues on equity between generations, led by Tatsuhiro Kamisato, Associate Professor, GoNERI
  7. 2008/09/23 4-7pm (PST): Public communication, led by Masashi Furukawa, Graduate student, UTNEM
  8. 2008/09/30 4-7pm (PST): Safety and public acceptance of HLW geologic disposal, led by Hiroyuki Umeki, JAEA [slides]
  9. 2008/10/17 5-8pm (PST): Repository Programs for High-Level Radioactive Waste: Social Considerations, led by Tom Isaacs, Consulting Professor, Stanford University, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory [slides] [video]; Mr. Shigenobu Hirusawa, Institute of Applied Energy, as Invited Commentator [slides]
  10. 2008/11/04 4-7pm (PST): Activities of Non-Governmental Organizations, led by Masafumi Ueda, Citizens' Science Initiative Japan
  11. 2008/11/25 4-7pm (PST): Historian's view on geologic disposal, led by Cathryn Carson, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of California, Berkeley [slides] [reference]
  12. 2008/12/09 4-7pm (PST): Sociological viewpoints on Science and Technology, led by Miwao Matsumoto, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Tokyo [reference]
  13. 2008/12/24 4-7pm (PST): (1) Discussion on "Misunderstood misunderstanding: social identities and public uptake of science" by Brian Wynne [reference], (2) Field trip to WIPP, (3) Future activities by this seminar, led by Kohta Juraku, Daisuke Kawasaki, and Joonhong Ahn [slides]
  14. 2009/02/23 6-9pm (PST): Siting profess for nuclear power plants in Indonesia, led by Dr. Sulfikar Amir, Nanyang Institute of Technology, Singapore
  15. 2009/03/10 5-7pm (PST): Summary for presentation at the annual meeting of Atomic Energy Society of Japan, Takuji Oda, Assistant Professor, UTNEM [see below]
  16. 2009/03/25 10am-5pm (Tokyo): Summary of discussions of FY2008 and planning discussions for the 2009 PAGES summer school, led by Takuji Oda, Kohta Juraku, Daisuke Kawasaki [slides], and Joonhong Ahn
  17. 2009/04/20 8-9pm (PST): Round-table discussion on social-scince education with graduate students, led by Satoru Tanaka, Takuji Oda, Kohta Juraku, Daisuke Kawasaki, and Joonhong Ahn

Field trips and retreat

2008/07/02-03, Rokkasho, Aomori, Japan

At the Town Hall of Rokkasho Mura

2008/07/12-13, Toyo-Cho, Kochi, Japan

With Mayor Tajima of Toyo Cho

2009/10/28-29, Visiting Nuclear Power Station's Visitor Centers, by Chisato Katsuki

2009/01/28-30, Visiting Yucca Mountain Information Center, by Chisato Katsuki

2009/02/17-19, Visiting Nuclear Power Station, by Chisato Katsuki

2010/06/14-15, Visiting Nuclear Power Station's Visitor Center, by Chisato Katsuki

Current Core members (Alphabetical Order)