Philippine Nuclear Research Institute

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Seminar-Workshop on Nuclear Science and Technology for Secondary Schools

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Top Photo: Students and Teachers from San Francisco High School and Quezon City Science High School pose with the lecturers and PNRI officials.

Bottom Photo: (From Left to Right) The seminar-workshop’s experts, Ms. Valerie Segovia from the Nuclear Power Institute, Dr. Iimoto Takeshi from the University of Tokyo and Mr. Itaru Takahashi of the Japan Atomic Energy Relations Organization


Bringing nuclear science and technology to Filipino students and teachers, the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology (PNRI-DOST) in cooperation with the Quezon City Division of City Schools of the Department of Education (DepEd) held the Seminar-Workshop on Nuclear Science and Technology for Secondary Schools from January 22-24 at the Quezon City Science Interactive Center.

The seminar-workshop serves as the first wave of an outreach program on nuclear science and technology for secondary schools implemented in the Philippines under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Project RAS/0/065 on Supporting Sustainability and Networking of National Nuclear Institutions in Asia and the Pacific Region.

Ten (10) science teachers and 175 Grade 9 and Fourth Year high school students from Quezon City Science High School and San Francisco High School (the 2 pilot schools) were selected to participate in the seminar-workshop, where experts from the IAEA conducted lectures and hands-on experiments on the basics of nuclear science and its applications, particularly on radiation.

The students as well as the science teachers had the opportunity to monitor radiation in the environment through portable “Hakaru-kunMr. Gamma Radiation Monitors, while they also had the chance to “see” radiation through alpha tracks made in cloud chamber experiments using dry ice.

The lecturers from the IAEA also helped inspire more students to eventually engage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers after graduating from high school to address the declining interest among students in these courses.

A seminar for the DepEd officials, science supervisors and science teachers was also held to discuss about the various approaches they use on presenting science and technology in the classroom, as well as on creating and sustaining their interest in these fields through various activities.

Beyond pen-and-paper worksheets and other academic exercises, the seminar-workshop also encouraged the students to showcase their talents to help in the promotion of science and technology, particularly nuclear S&T. The participants were divided into teams as they competed for the best presentations on what they learned during the lectures, which ranged from rhetorical speeches and poems to song compositions and dance numbers.

On the last day, 50 female students who were selected as members of the newly-formed Powerful Opportunities for Women Eager and Ready for Science Engineering and Technology (POWER SET) under the outreach program facilitated a science-themed sportsfest dubbed “Scilympics”, where teams composed of students from both schools competed in challenges that require the application of basic scientific principles.

During his visit to the Philippines the following week, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano praised the enthusiasm and promising potential that the schools have shown in participating in the project.

“I congratulate you for your interest in science and technology, and particularly in nuclear science and technology, and I wish you all the success,” he said to the pilot schools on January 27.

“The future of your country will be based on science and technology, and the young generation is the hope for the future. I think your country is heading towards a very good direction.”

The Philippines was chosen as a pilot country for the project 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. The IAEA also 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.

The seminar-workshop is the first out of three planned throughout 2015 under the outreach program.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 February 2015 21:42

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Amano Visits the Philippines

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Left Photo: IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano (right) with  Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario Montejo (left) at the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute – DOST.

Right Photo: IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano (2nd from left) with PNRI Director Dr. Alumanda Dela Rosa (extreme right) at the Centralized Medical Cyclotron Facility


International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Yukiya Amano, in a statement delivered at the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute – Department of Science and Technology (PNRI – DOST), commended the Philippines for the extensive applications and projects of nuclear technology in various fields, as well as its cooperation with other IAEA Member States.

“Your country is not only using these technologies for your purpose, but you are also helping other countries in sharing technology, in your region and beyond; this is very important, and I thank you for your cooperation,” said Director-General Amano.

Director General Amano has just recently concluded a visit to the Philippines to witness firsthand the country’s latest advances in nuclear science and technology. The one and a half - day visit to the country on January 27 – 28, 2015 was part of a larger tour of the IAEA Member States of Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

The Philippines has been a Member State of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) since 1958.  The IAEA, which was established in 1957 as the “Atoms for Peace” organization within the United Nations family, is the world’s foremost organization for scientific and technical cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear technology.

The Director General emphasized the ever-increasing role of the IAEA and nuclear applications in the development of countries around the globe.

“In a sense, for me, the IAEA is not only ‘Atoms for Peace’, but ‘Atoms for Peace and Development’ and this objective needs to be carried out by all the members of the IAEA,” he said.

IAEA DG Amano also addressed questions from journalists regarding the future of nuclear power, emphasizing that “it is your country, your people, who decide whether nuclear power is good for your country or not.”

“The role of the IAEA is to help them when they decide to use nuclear power. What we do is to help them to use nuclear power safely, securely and sustainably,” said the Director General.

For his part, DOST Secretary Mario Montejo expressed his gratitude and optimism for the continued partnership of the IAEA and the DOST, through PNRI, in future technical cooperation projects.

“This visit highlights the strong partnership nurtured through the years by the two partners that is the promise of what technical cooperation can bring about,” said Secretary Montejo.

IAEA Director General Amano toured the latest facilities of the PNRI-DOST which received assistance from the IAEA, including the recently inaugurated Electron Beam Facility for more advanced irradiation applications, the Technetium-99m Generator Facility for the production of radiopharmaceuticals, and the Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry Laboratory which will make isotope analytical services cheaper and more accessible to researchers.

The IAEA Chief also visited the Centralized Medical Cyclotron Facility at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute. The facility, which is the second cyclotron to be established in the country, will help make PET radiopharmaceuticals more available in nuclear medicine centers throughout the country.  With technical assistance from the IAEA, PNRI coordinated a task force composed of the private and government sectors to facilitate the establishment of this facility.

DG Amano also interacted with the students, teachers and officials of Quezon City Science High School and San Francisco High School, the two pilot schools implementing an IAEA outreach program for encouraging high school students to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses and careers, particularly on nuclear science and technology.

The IAEA has selected the Philippines as one of the pilot countries, along with Indonesia, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, in launching an outreach program on nuclear science and technology for secondary schools.

The outreach project is being undertaken through the collaboration of the PNRI - DOST and the Quezon City Division of City Schools of the Department of Education.

DOST Secretary Montejo extended the invitation for Director General Amano to be the guest speaker at the 3rd Philippine Nuclear Congress to be held on 7-9 December 2015.

Last Updated on Monday, 16 February 2015 22:58

PNRI Celebrates 42nd Atomic Energy Week

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Left Photo: Dr. Graceta Cuevas, the 42nd Atomic Energy Week Chairperson (on podium) gives the welcoming remarks during the opening ceremonies. Seated (from left) are PNRI Director Dr. Alumanda Dela Rosa, DOST Secretary Mario Montejo, Congressman Francis Gerald Abaya and Minister Counselor Guillermo Eduardo Devoto of the Embassy of Argentina.

Right Photo: (From Left) Director Dela Rosa, Congressman Abaya and DOST Undersecretary Dr. Amelia Guevara observe as a PNRI researcher demonstrates the detection of radioactivity from beach sands containing allanite using an RS230 portable gamma-ray spectrometer.


Spearheading the country’s progress in nuclear science and technology, the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology (PNRI-DOST) celebrated the 42nd Atomic Energy Week (AEW) celebration from December 8-12, 2014 at the PNRI compound. 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.

With the theme, “The Philippines: Moving Forward with Nuclear Science and Technology", PNRI opened its facilities to hundreds of visitors daily during the week, featuring the latest advances in nuclear science and technology in the country in the fields of agriculture, industry, health & medicine, and the environment.

“Coming over to PNRI in spite of your very busy schedule and the not-so-good weather serves to remind us that we are important to you,” said Dr. Graceta Cuevas, Chairperson of the 42nd AEW as she delivered her welcome address, daring the participants “to be challenged, excited and inspired by the activities that await us for the next 5 days.”

Despite the onslaught of Typhoon Ruby, the AEW opening ceremonies successfully pushed through, and was graced with the presence of DOST Secretary Mario Montejo, and Congressman Francis Gerald Abaya of the 1st District of Cavite, along with other officials of the DOST, technical experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), members of the diplomatic corps, former officials and employees of the PNRI, and the media.

In delivering his inspirational message, the Secretary found that this year’s theme “embodies my aspiration for an empowered S&T community working forward on the socio-economic and technological development of the country.”

“I witnessed the vigor and enthusiasm of the PNRI workforce, the mature staff mentoring the new wave of nuclear scientists in fulfilling the commitment of PNRI to explore the peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology for the benefit of our people,” said Secretary Montejo.

Congressman Abaya, who filed House Bill 147 or the Comprehensive Nuclear Law, continued to pledge his support for the creation of a separate and independent regulatory body to strengthen the Philippines’ commitment to international nuclear safety and security. Abaya said it was his pleasure to work with PNRI “in achieving the fullest potential of nuclear science and technology through proper institutional and legal mechanisms.”

“I also encourage everyone here present, as partners and stakeholders in the field of nuclear science and technology, to continue building synergy in order to propel the field into even greater heights. The potential of nuclear technology in the various fields of human endeavor is vast, and it is my wish that we can all harness this potential for the benefit of every Filipino,” Congressman Abaya said in his keynote address.

During the celebration, the PNRI inaugurated its brand new Electron Beam Facility established with funds from IAEA, DOST-GIA, the US and Japanese Governments, and accepted a donation of an online environmental radiation monitor from the South Korean government. The ceremonies were attended by representatives from the EB Tech Co., Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), the Korea Trade Promotion Corporation (KOTRA), EB Tech, Co., and Satrec Initiative.

Technical Sessions were held on December 10 from morning until afternoon, with experts from PNRI, the IAEA and South Korea delivering lectures on electron beam applications, environmental radiation monitoring, and various applications of nuclear analytical techniques in food, agriculture and marine industries.

High school students from across the country competed in a showdown of knowledge in nuclear science and technology in the Philippine Nuclear Science Quiz (PNSQ) on December 11. Parañaque Science High School won first place with Lawrence Glen Sabaria, Justine Mateus Medina and coach Jane Andrea Nitro, followed by Caloocan City Science High School for second place with Patrick Canacana, Ma. Steffi Lucum and coach Angelo Cabic, and Manila Science High School for third place with Benedict Anuta, Christopher John Limos and coach Ferdinand Bautista. The first placer received a cash price of Php 30,000, the second placer Php 20,000 and the third placer Php 10,000, all including plaques and certificates of recognition.

At the closing ceremonies on December 12, PNRI scientists who recently won in the DOST International Publication Awards, those who were able to patent their works, exemplary civil servants and the PNSQ winners were awarded and recognized. PNRI Director Dr. Alumanda Dela Rosa proudly announced that PNRI won the DOST International Awards for the highest number of ISI Publications and approved Patents. The Director also proudly announced that the Institute was finally awarded the ISO 9001:2008 certification as of December 2014, prompting loud cheers among the PNRI employees and staff.

“This is a team effort, and even I know that it involved very difficult work,” said the Director as she thanked everybody for their efforts to achieve yet another milestone for the Institute.

Meanwhile, veteran scientists, employees and staff of PNRI who have already retired came home in a heartwarming reunion in An Afternoon in PNRI.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 December 2014 00:16

PNRI to Receive Environmental Radiation Monitor System from Korea

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An EFRD-3300 radiation monitor stationed in Korea

Once again reaping the fruits of international cooperation on nuclear technology, the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute – Department of Science and Technology (PNRI-DOST) will receive an online environmental radiation monitoring system by the end of 2014 through its partnership with the Korean government.

The Eco Friendly Radiation Detector EFRD-3300, which will be formally inaugurated at PNRI on December 8 during the 42nd Atomic Energy Week, is being donated by the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy through a project of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA).

Designed for continuous and real-time monitoring of ambient gamma radiation, the system boasts the ability to provide stable dose rate measurements, discrimination between artificial and natural radionuclides, and data transmission through an online network in conjunction with other monitoring stations. The EFRD-3300 is the product of joint research and development by the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS) and Satrec Initiative, a Korean company manufacturing radiation detection systems. Similar EFRD systems have been installed in China, Thailand, Malaysia, Qatar, and Korea.

The EFRD-3300 donation project is the result of the cooperation of KOTRA, Satrec Initiative and ALV Technologies, a local partner with the PNRI Health Physics Research Section.

The brand-new equipment will be part of a nationwide early-warning system for monitoring radiation emergencies such as that which transpired at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Station in 2011. The first unit will be deployed at the PNRI compound, where it will be integrated to the Institute’s Nuclear Emergency Response Support Center. The real-time environmental radiation monitoring system is also designed to receive radiation data from remote monitoring stations. Additional EFRD units are expected to arrive by 2015 and will be installed at selected areas throughout the country, helping to improve the Philippines’ radiation emergency preparedness and response capability.

The EFRD-3300 will also compliment the PHP52 Air-Particulate Radionuclide Monitoring Station of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) operated by PNRI in Tanay, Rizal, as well as the portable gamma spectrometers and other equipment used by PNRI for their regular monitoring activities.

Beyond nuclear power plant accidents, the need for real-time radiation monitoring is also intensified by possible risks of nuclear terrorism through radiation dispersal devices (RDDs) or “dirty bombs” that scatter radioactive materials with conventional explosives.

KOTRA, which will sponsor the installation and training of PNRI personnel in using the system, continues to be PNRI’s partner in environmental radiation monitoring.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 December 2014 05:57

Seminar on Nuclear Techniques in Soil Testing for Corn Crops

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Left Photo: PNRI Director Dr. Alumanda Dela Rosa (2nd row, 4th from right), Mr. Roland Rallos of the PNRI Agriculture Research Section (2nd row, 2nd from left) and Dr. Edna Samar of the BSWM (2nd row, 3rd from left) with the seminar participants

Right Photo: The project experts engaging in an open forum with the participants


Helping to boost the potential of agriculture in northern Philippines, the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute – Department of Science and Technology (PNRI-DOST) conducted a “Seminar on the Use of Nuclear Analytical Techniques for Improving Soil Test Calibration and Irrigation Management in Corn Production” at the Cagayan Valley Research Center (CVRC) in San Felipe, Ilagan, Isabela last November 4.

The seminar served as a venue for the participating agencies to share the preliminary findings of the study after two years of research work.

The project on nuclear applications for nutrient and irrigation management is funded by DOST and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), one of the department’s sectoral planning councils.

PNRI also works in collaboration with the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) of the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), and Central Luzon State University (CLSU) in developing better “precision-farming” methods by assessing soil, nutrient and irrigation efficiency for corn, among other crops. Nuclear techniques play a special role in this project as the use of various stable isotopes present in fertilizers and water provide a more direct assessment of fertilizer use efficiency compared to other analytical methods.

The findings showed that on average, over half of the nitrogen absorbed by the plants came from the fertilizers added at the earlier stages. This percentage decreases as it approaches the harvest period. Nonetheless, the nitrogen absorbed from fertilizers still increased towards maturity and were proportional to the biomass yield. As for the total nitrogen absorbed by the crops (including nitrogen from both soil and fertilizers), these demonstrated an increasing trend regardless of soil fertility levels. The use of fertilizers becomes less efficient as one increases the rate of nitrogen fertilizer application.

Many of the participants were from the project’s beneficiaries and stakeholders such as the DA Regional Field Unit 2, the National Corn Program, local government units in the nearby provinces and municipalities and other farmer-cooperators.

Having met the first half of the planned activities, the DOST and PCAARD-funded project will continue for another two years, for a total of four years of research on crop nutrient and irrigation management.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 December 2014 06:00
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