Tetsu Kikuhara, a Ph.D. student at the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), recently completed a research internship as a visiting scholar with the TEES Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute (NSSPI). Kikuhara is a student in Tokyo Tech’s DOJO Academy for Global Nuclear Safety and Security Agent, a graduate program and NSSPI peer organization led by Dr. Masaki Saito. He came to NSSPI as part of the Global Nuclear Internship in Foreign Countries agreement between TEES and Tokyo Tech, which allows Ph.D. students from Tokyo Tech to complete a research internship with NSSPI as part of their degree requirements for the Dojo program. The experience offers Japanese students an opportunity to interact with nuclear security and safeguards researchers and students in the U.S. as they conduct research in this area.
During his time at NSSPI, Kikuhara worked with NSSPI Director Dr. Sunil Chirayath on two topics related to his dissertation work, which focuses on the security implications of an attack against a facility using a hyper-velocity projectile. He evaluated the endurance of structural barrier materials such as reinforced concrete against hyper-velocity projectile impact using hydrodynamic simulation as a comparison with explosive impact. He also estimated the delay time for structural barrier materials against hyper-velocity projectile and explosive impact and evaluated the robustness of a hypothetical facility against various threats using the EASI model to calculate the Probability of Interruption.
According to Kikuhara, he “learned a lot about nuclear security, the traditions of A&M, the history of Texas, and also how to wrap a burrito well” during his stay in College Station. He credits Dr. Chirayath for helping him proceed much farther in his research activity.
Kikuhara returned to Japan in July to complete his dissertation under his adviser Dr. Hiroshi Sagara of Tokyo Tech. NSSPI wishes him all the best as he completes his Ph.D. and starts his career.