Philippine Nuclear Research Institute

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PNRI – DOST Features Advances in Nuclear Science and Technology in 42nd Atomic Energy Week Celebration

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The Philippine Nuclear Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology (PNRI-DOST) will open its facilities to the public and feature the latest advances in nuclear science and technology in the country in the fields of agriculture, industry, medicine and the environment during the 42nd Atomic Energy Week (AEW) celebration on December 8-12, 2014 at the PNRI compound along Commonwealth Avenue in Diliman, Quezon City with the theme, “The Philippines: Moving Forward with Nuclear Science and Technology".

The activities slated for the week-long celebration include the AEW opening ceremonies on December 8; technical sessions on December 9 and 10; the Philippine Nuclear Science Quiz (PNSQ) for high school students on December 11, and closing/awarding ceremonies with A Night at PNRI on December 12. The inauguration of the PNRI Electron Beam Facility as well as the turnover of an environmental radiation monitor from the South Korean government will also be held during the celebration. Free guided tours to PNRI laboratories and facilities and viewing of exhibits and film showing are available daily from morning to afternoon.

The annual AEW celebration, as mandated under Presidential proclamation No. 1211 in 1973, aims to generate awareness of the Filipino people on the beneficial uses of nuclear science and technology in food and agriculture, industry, medicine and the environment. For more information on the activities for the 42nd Atomic Energy Week, please contact the PNRI Nuclear Information and Documentation Section at 920-8787 and 929-6011 to 19 local 286, or send your emails to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit www.pnri.dost.gov.ph.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 November 2014 01:54
 

National Training Course on Public Communication in Nuclear & Radiological Emergencies

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Left Photo: Ms. Bushra Nasim of the International Atomic Energy Agency and Ms. Vasiliki Tafili of the Greek Atomic Energy Commission (1st row, 8th to 9th from left) with the training course organizers and participants

Right Photo: The participants engage in a simulated press conference in response to the training scenario of an on-going radiological emergency

Recognizing the importance of public communication in a well-coordinated preparation and response to emergencies, the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology (PNRI-DOST) in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Asian Nuclear Safety Network (ANSN) hosted the National Training Course on Communication with the Public in a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency from October 20-24 at the PNRI compound.

Experts from the IAEA and the Greek Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) handled the week-long training course, emphasizing the need to keep the public informed and the responding agencies credible and prepared well beforehand in case of a nuclear or radiological emergency.

“When you are not responding, you should be planning to respond. This is very Important; whatever your requirements, whatever your communication needs, they should all be prepared in advance," said Ms. Bushra Nasim of the IAEA Department of Nuclear Safety and Security – Incident and Emergency Centre.

The course also gave special attention to scenarios such as hoaxes, rumors and overreactions that could cause misinformation and panic in a very volatile situation – as well as the means to prevent them.

“There is uncertainty and anxiety about these events, so our objective as communicators is to prevent the rumors by providing the essential information in order to remove uncertainty. Rumors find a place to grow where there is a gap in information,” said Ms. Vasiliki Tafili of the GAEC International and Public Relations Office.

Representatives from the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), Science and Technology Information Institute (STII-DOST), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and the National Power Corporation (NPC) participated in the training course. They were also joined by technical experts from the various divisions and sections of PNRI and members of the media.

Lectures on risk communication, radiation basics, and nuclear/radiological incidents were followed by practical exercises on building a public communication program, conducting press conferences, choosing and training agency spokespersons, handling interviews and writing information releases.

The training course also aimed to facilitate collaboration and cooperation between the various government agencies tasked to respond in case a nuclear or radiological emergency happens in the country.

PNRI Director Dr. Alumanda Dela Rosa said that the training course will prove helpful in the revision of the National Radiological Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (RADPLAN) which will incorporate the lessons learned from the nuclear incident in Japan three years ago. She also expressed the Institute’s desire to continue their collaborative efforts in emergency public communication – nuclear or otherwise.

“I hope that our interaction will also go beyond this course to ensure that the Philippines becomes more prepared in responding to each and every calamity," I am confident that our participants will leave the training course more prepared for future events, whether nuclear, radiological or conventional,” she said.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 November 2014 01:12
 

Philippines Pilots IAEA Educational Outreach Program for High Schools

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Left Photo: Ms. Jane Gerardo-Abaya of the Division for Asia and the Pacific, IAEA Department of Technical Cooperation (1st row, 2nd from right), Ms. Brenda Pagannone of the IAEA Department of Nuclear Energy (1st row, 2nd from left), Mr. Sunil Sabharwal of the IAEA Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications (1st row, 1st from right) with experts and representatives from vairious participating countries for the outreach program on secondary schools.

Right Photo: Ms. Valerie Garcia Segovia of the Nuclear Power Institute (extreme left) and the participants engage in discussion during the meeting for the implementation of RAS/0/065 on Supporting Sustainability and Networking of National Nuclear Institutions in Asia and the Pacific Region through the outreach program.

Taking another opportunity to help develop nuclear science education in the country, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has selected the Philippines as one of the pilot countries in launching an outreach program on nuclear science and technology for secondary schools through the collaboration of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology (PNRI-DOST) and the Quezon City Division of City Schools of the Department of Education (DepEd).

Under Project RAS/0/065 on Supporting Sustainability and Networking of National Nuclear Institutions in Asia and the Pacific Region, the country was chosen along with Indonesia, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates in addressing what the IAEA recognizes as a very vital area in reaching out and developing the youth’s interest in nuclear science and technology by adopting the best practices in science education for secondary schools in the region.

Representatives from the participating Member States in the Asia-Pacific Region met at the IAEA Headquarters in Vienna, Austria from October 14 to 17 for the insights and experiences of experts from the IAEA, United States, United Kingdom, Japan and Australia and the establishment of national work plans to implement the outreach program in the pilot countries. The Philippines was represented by Ms. Rhodora Leonin, Head, Nuclear Information & Documentation Section and Mr. Roel Loteriña, OIC, Nuclear Training Center of PNRI, as well as Ms. Helen Grace Go and Ms. Ma. Violeta Tupas of DepEd.

The IAEA developed a compendium of resources and activities for use by high school teachers and students, which will be tailored to the flow of DepEd’s K to 12 Basic Education Curriculum, such that it may touch on the basics of nuclear science and its applications.

Beyond raising awareness and understanding of nuclear concepts and applications, the program also intends to encourage more students to eventually engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers after graduating from college.

For the Philippines, the collaborating agencies plan to hold a special seminar and workshop for high school teachers and students.

The agencies are also planning to conduct a weekly extracurricular activity dubbed as Science on Saturday (S.O.S.) which aims to enhance the nuclear experience for younger students through practical, hands-on exercises such as simple classroom and outdoor experiments, science quiz bees, essay, poster and chart competitions, and field trips to nuclear research facilities.

The program will also address the issue of women empowerment with the aptly named Powerful Opportunities for Women Eager and Ready for Science Engineering and Technology (POWER SET) Program, which will prepare aspiring female high school students who perform well in mathematics and science subjects for science-related courses and careers through scholarship opportunities, mentoring by industry professionals, visits to science and technology facilities and professional development activities such as seminars and workshops, among others.

Two public secondary schools in Quezon City will participate in the pilot testing by January 2015: Quezon City Science High School (Regional Science High School for the National Capital Region) and San Francisco High School.

Last Updated on Monday, 10 November 2014 05:42
 

PNRI Signs MOU with KAERI for Collaborative Research and Development

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Left Photo: DOST Undersecretary Dr. Amelia Guevara and PNRI Director Dr. Alumanda Dela Rosa (3rd and 4th from left) pose with KAERI President Dr. Jong Kyung Kim (3rd from right) after the MOU signing at the Vienna International Center with PNRI International Cooperation Section Officer-In-Charge Ms. Nydia Medina, PNRI Atomic Research Division Chief Dr. Soledad Castañeda (1st and 2nd from left), KAERI International Cooperation Team Head Mr. Jeong Kong Lee and PNRI Planning Section Head Ms. Ma. Celerina Ramiro (1st and 2nd from right)

Right Photo: PNRI Director Dela Rosa and KAERI President Kim signing the Memorandum of Understanding


Forging closer cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute – Department of Science and Technology (PNRI-DOST) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) for collaborative activities in nuclear science and technology on September 24 at Vienna, Austria.

The technical cooperation between the agencies will consist of complementary research and development undertakings and a healthy exchange of technical information as well as scientists, engineers and other experts, which will entail short or long–term visits and working assignments.

Collaborative activities by PNRI and KAERI will also cover basic and applied research on nuclear energy, radiation technology, technology transfer and human resource development, among others.

The agencies have previously engaged in similar cooperative efforts through an MOU in 1994, which according to them proved to be mutually productive and beneficial through the years.

The KAERI is a Korean government–sponsored nuclear science and technology research institute based in Daejon, South Korea.

Last Updated on Monday, 10 November 2014 05:46
 

PNRI Conducts the 1st Sessions of the Course on Medical Use of Radioisotopes and Course on Radioisotope Technology

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Left Photo: Doctors and medical workers participating in the Course on Medical use of Radioisotopes (CRM) during a tour of the PNRI Technetium-99m Generator Facility

Right Photo: Participants for the Course on Radioisotope Technology (CRT) present a case study to a panel of PNRI experts and regulators


Professionals from the medical and research sectors completed the first Course on Medical Use of Radioisotopes (CMR) and Course on Radioisotope Technology (CRT) conducted at the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute – Department of Science and Technology (PNRI – DOST) from September 1 – 26.

Formerly the Radioisotope Techniques Training Course (RTTC) with iterations for medical personnel and general training, the new CMR and CRT courses reflect PNRI’s continuing efforts to improve and update the knowledge and skills of professionals engaged in the use of radioisotopes in their respective fields.

The Institute accomplishes this through the PNRI Nuclear Training Center (NTC), which organized and conducted the courses with experts from partner agencies as well as PNRI’s own instructors on nuclear science and technology as well as the equally important aspect of radiation protection and nuclear safety and security.

Thirty-five (35) doctors and medical technologists from various hospitals throughout the country graduated from the medical course, while six science research specialists, analysts and assistants from PNRI finished the general course.

The month-long training courses were held daily from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, with the first eight days spent on a joint class where the participants were taught basic nuclear physics and radiation chemistry, radiation protection and monitoring instruments, proper handling practices of radioactive materials, radiation dosimetry and radiation processing.

Starting Day 9, the two courses underwent separate lectures and activities suited for their specific area, with the medical class studying cellular radiobiology, cytogenetics, contamination and decontamination, radiopharmacy practices.

While CMR focuses on medical applications and discusses them in greater detail, CRT involves a wider grasp of the various applications of nuclear science and technology in other fields, such as isotopes for soil fertility studies, air pollution and freshwater quality management, geology, tissue culture and plant mutation breeding. For the medical field, the CRT students joined their CMR counterparts in discussion on nuclear medicine, positron emission tomography and radiation therapy.

By the third week, the courses were again taught in a joint class, this time for lectures on the Code of PNRI Regulations, licensing requirements, categorization and security of radiation sources, radioactive waste management and emergency procedures, among other nuclear safety and security measures.

Long quizzes were given every week to test how much the participants have learned. In addition, the participants were also required to present a case study as part of a group to assess procedures or facilities in their respective fields. The case studies were presented at the final day of the training course. A certificate of completion was awarded to participants for successfully finishing the course.

The participants also toured the various facilities of PNRI, including the semi-commercial Cobalt-60 Multipurpose Irradiation Facility, the Electron Beam Facility which is in the final stages of construction, the brand-new Technetium-99m Generator Facility and the historic Philippine Research Reactor – 1 (PRR-1).

Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 October 2014 03:28
 
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