Left Photo: PNRI Director Dr. Alumanda Dela Rosa (1st row, 4th from left), IAEA expert Mr. Peter Vermaercke (2nd row, 5th from right) and Lead Country Coordinator Mr. Ronald Szymczak (2nd row, 6th from left) with the representatives from several countries in the Asia-Pacific Region at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria.
Right Photo: The international participants listen to the briefing of the PNRI Irradiation Services Section at the Electron Beam Facility
Marine environmental radioactivity monitoring experts and researchers from the Asia-Pacific region met in the Philippines early this May to improve the research capability to provide better marine radiological and environmental data with more stringent and intensive reviews of each country’s quality management systems.
From May 11 to 15, the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) hosted a Workshop for Review Implementation of Quality Management Systems at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria in Quezon City. The workshop was conducted through the efforts of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology in the Asia-Pacific Region (RCA).
The week-long workshop was conducted under the IAEA/RCA Project RAS/7/021 entitled “Marine Benchmark Study on the Possible Impact of the Fukushima Radioactive Releases in the Asia-Pacific Region”. It is specifically aimed at developing the capabilities of countries having limited experience in marine radioactivity monitoring programs. Developing quality data is indispensable in the contribution of the various national counterparts to the Asia Pacific Marine Radioactivity Database (ASPAMARD), with the Philippines as the focal point for the database compilation throughout the region.
The ASPAMARD contains available data on radionuclide concentrations in seawater, sediment and marine biota in Asia and the Pacific. Under Project RAS/7/021, Phase 3 of the ASPAMARD focuses on the potential impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident on marine life and the environment.
Among the twenty workshop participants are representatives from Australia, Bangladesh, Cook Islands, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. Specialists from the various research sections of PNRI also participated in the workshop. Most of the participants are experienced in the field of marine radiochemistry or environmental management, as well as in monitoring radionuclides in their respective countries.
Lectures were conducted by IAEA expert Mr. Peter Vermaercke from Belgium, Ms. Cecilia De Vera of the PNRI Radiological Impact Assessment Section and Mr. Joseph Michael Racho of the PNRI Nuclear Analytical Techniques Applications Section. The workshop was facilitated by IAEA/RCA Lead Country Coordinator Mr. Ronald Szymczak from Australia and Workshop Director Ms. Eliza Enriquez of the PNRI Health Physics Research Section.
The participants from each country presented their experiences in sustaining their quality management systems and procedures. They also had the chance to visit the various PNRI laboratories and facilities certified under International Standardization Organization (ISO) standards, such as the Nuclear Analytical Techniques Applications Section, the Cobalt-60 Multipurpose Irradiation Facility and the newly inaugurated Electron Beam Facility at the PNRI compound.