Philippine Nuclear Research Institute

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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 Wednesday, 15 October 2014 23:36

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

Significant Strides in PHL Nuclear Science and Technology Showcased in Vienna

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From the Department of Foreign Affairs

29 September 2014 - "Certainly there is movement, there are significant strides being taken, there is progression towards the goal of making nuclear science and technology work for the common good."

This was highlighted by Science and Technology Undersecretary Amelia P. Guevara as she formally opened the Philippine Exhibit on September 22 at the Rotunda of the Vienna International Center on the margins of the 58th Annual Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference, which opened on the same day.

Adopting the theme, "The Philippines: Moving Forward with Nuclear Science and Technology," significant milestones the country has reached in nuclear science and technology were highlighted by Undersecretary Guevara. These include the Philippines' recognition as a Collaborating Center of the International Atomic Energy Agency in the study of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs); selection as one of three pilot countries for the IAEA Water Availability Enhancement project (IWAVE project); development of a quarantine treatment to enhance the competitiveness of the Philippine super mango in the world market; and development of plant growth promoters using radiation-processed local carrageenan.

Undersecretary Guevara noted that the Philippine exhibit was inspired by Science and Technology Secretary Mario G. Montejo, and the product of the combined passion, creativity and hard work of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute and its partners from the academe, the private sector, other government agencies, bilateral and international partners, including the IAEA.

Philippine Ambassador and Resident Representative to the IAEA Lourdes O. Yparraguirre, representatives of Permanent Missions, officials and staff of the IAEA Secretariat, and members of the nuclear scientific community participating in the General Conference, graced the opening day of the exhibit.

Light refreshments of Philippine dried mangoes, spring rolls, sapin-sapin, and drinks were served to give the exhibit a truly Filipino flavor. END


Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 01:27

Philippines Reaffirms Commitment to and Cooperation with IAEA in Vienna

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From the Department of Foreign Affairs

25 September 2014 - Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary Amelia P. Guevara reaffirmed the continuing commitment and cooperation of the Philippines to the objectives of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as she led the Philippine delegation to the 58th Annual Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference in Vienna on September 23.

"The Agency will continue to play a vital role in enabling developing countries to use science and technology for development, and for maintaining international peace and security. The Agency can only do this with strong partnerships with the Member States", she stated.

Undersecretary Guevara cited some of the accomplishments of the Philippines in nuclear science and technology, and drew attention to how the country applies the IAEA's "Atoms for Peace" mandate to its national development program through efforts in increasing agricultural productivity, enhancing industrial competitiveness, ensuring accessible healthcare, and providing nuclear services to ensure public safety and environmental integrity.

She expressed support to the Agency's work in strengthening the global nuclear safety regime, through the efficient and effective implementation of international legal instruments, the development of safety standards, enhancement of national safety infrastructure, coordination of international emergency preparedness and response mechanisms, and the promotion of a nuclear safety culture.

The Undersecretary pointed out that the Philippine commitment to strengthening nuclear security stems from the recognition that nuclear security, along with nuclear safety, is integral to the continued development and enjoyment of the benefits of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In particular, she noted that a National Nuclear Security Support Centre is being established with the assistance of the IAEA in support of the National Nuclear Security Plan.

Undersecretary Guevara proposed working with the IAEA on nuclear security at a major public event to assist the government in its preparations for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Heads of States Meeting in the Philippines in late 2015.

She reiterated the Philippines' commitment to realize the objectives of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, stressing that there should be equal progress in its three pillars, namely non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy. She further emphasized that the Philippines shares the vision of a world free of nuclear weapons.

The Philippines became a Member State of the IAEA in 1958. The Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology is at the center of the country's cooperation with the IAEA. The PNRI spearheads the development of nuclear technologies and formulates rules and regulations on the safety and security of atomic energy facilities and radioactive materials.

The 58th IAEA General Conference will conclude its work on September 26 with the adoption of resolutions on IAEA’s work in nuclear safety and security, technical cooperation, and safeguards in the Middle East, Iran, Syria and DPRK and other issues.  The Philippines, as Chair of the Vienna Chapter of the Group of 77 and China, leads developing countries in the negotiations of these resolutions. END


Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 01:27

PNRI Experts at the National Workshop on Irradiation as a Phytosanitary Treatment

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Left Photo: An expert from the United States Department of Agriculture - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA – APHIS) conducts a lecture at the InterContinental Hotel Manila

Right Photo: PNRI Irradiation Services Section Head Ms. Luvimina Lanuza (2nd row, 4th from right) with participants, USDA experts and PNRI staff at the PNRI Compound

The Philippine Nuclear Research Institute – Department of Science and Technology (PNRI-DOST) shared and demonstrated its expertise in irradiation technology and radiation processing during the National Training Workshop on Irradiation as a Phytosanitary Treatment held at the Intercontinental Hotel Manila, Makati City from September 16 to 18.

The workshop, which was organized by Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Plant Industry (DA–BPI) in collaboration with PNRI and the United States Department of Agriculture - Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA – APHIS),  aimed to improve the knowledge and technical competence of local quarantine officers regarding the use of irradiation as a phytosanitary treatment against insects. These include dose mapping for determining the proper irradiation dose and exposure time of products, as well as safety and quality procedures in irradiation facilities, among others.

PNRI Section Heads Ms. Luvimina Lanuza of the Irradiation Services Section, Ms. Zenaida De Guzman of the Biomedical Research Section and Ms. Glenda Obra of the Agricultural Research Section conducted lectures at the hotel as technical experts in radiation processing and its application to food, agriculture and other plant products.

More than thirty participants from various BPI regional offices and four foreign participants from Malaysia joined the training course. Ms. Haydee Solomon (QA/QC Supervisor) and Mr. Aurelio Maningas (Senior Operator) of the PNRI Multipurpose Irradiation Facility also participated in the three–day workshop.

The training course was also conducted in anticipation of the projected entry of Philippine mango exports to the United States in the near future, as the country is well on its way to meeting the standards of the USDA in producing mangoes which are free of infestation with irradiation technology.

Part of these efforts is the submission of the quarantine treatment developed by PNRI against the local mango pulp weevil Sternochetus frigidus (Fabr.), with the proposed rule on its adoption recently published at the United States’ Federal Register. Meanwhile, the BPI will play a central role as the body tasked with issuing exports and phytosanitary certification for exporters.

The participants also visited the PNRI Compound and its radiation processing facilities – the Cobalt-60 Multipurpose Irradiation Facility which currently operates on a semi-commercial scale and the newer Electron Beam Irradiation Facility currently under construction. PNRI is also striving towards the eventual accreditation of its irradiation facilities by the USDA.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 October 2014 03:54
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