Philippine Nuclear Research Institute

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VP Binay and PNRI Director Dela Rosa Attend Nuclear Secutiry Summit 2014

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Philippine officials to the Nuclear Security Summit pose with Vice President of the Philippines Hon. Jejomar Binay (3rd from right); (L to R) Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) President Mr. Edgardo Lacson, Ms. Gina Ledda, PNRI Nuclear Safeguards and Security Section head Ms. Julietta Seguis, Ms. Mila Lacson, Ambassador to the Netherlands Mr. Jaime Victor Ledda, and PNRI Director Dr. Alumanda Dela Rosa. (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Vice President)

Representing President Benigno Aquino III in the international stage, Vice President Jejomar Binay was joined by PNRI Director Alumanda Dela Rosa and Nuclear Safeguards and Security Section head Julieta Seguis at the 3rd Nuclear Security Summit at the Hague, Netherlands, on March 24-25, 2014. In his address to the Summit, the Vice President emphasized the need for nuclear security in the Philippines.

VP Binay reported on the Philippines' progress in improving our nuclear security infrastructure at all ports of entry and on-site facilities, legal framework, and emergency response, as well as in developing a nuclear security culture for all stakeholders responsible for radioactive and nuclear materials. He thanked the International Atomic Energy Agency for its continued support in maintaining the country's nuclear safety and security.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 02:37

Philippines Serves as Pilot Country for the IWAVE Project

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Capitalizing on the unique advantage of nuclear technology, the Philippines joins the world in providing better access to clean and safe drinking water as it takes a pioneering role in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Water Availability Enhancement Project, or IWAVE.

The Philippines is the first Member State of the IAEA to participate in the project, followed by Oman and Costa Rica. IWAVE aims to build capacity in these Member States and assist them in gathering and using scientific information to fully assess the availability and quality of water resources, contributing to the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people worldwide without access to clean drinking water by 2015.

The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) implements the I-WAVE project in collaboration with the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB) and other water-based agencies.

In 2011, PNRI, NWRB and MGB, with contributions from other water agencies, began developing a Philippine Hydrological Gap Plan which agrees to fill the technology, expertise, infrastructure and investments needed. The report entitled “Investment Needs for Resource Assessment Capability in the Philippines to Improve the Planning and Management of Water Infrastructure” was completed in August 2012 and published the following month.

An adequate national assessment of water sources is the first and vital step in making these resources more accessible. Assisting the MGB project on Groundwater Resources and Vulnerability Assessment of the Philippines (GRVAP), the IAEA and PNRI lent their expertise in the design and application of isotope hydrology techniques with data analysis and interpretation in Water Resources Regions (WRR) 2 and 10 through a Technical Contract. The project covers the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Viscaya and Quirino in Region 2, and Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Dinagat Islands, Surigao Del Norte, Agusan Del Sur and Agusan Del Norte in Region 10. The water districts in these municipalities are collaborating in the endeavor.

The isotope hydrology approaches that are developed and tested will be replicated in other water critical areas which will be undertaken within the 2014-2015 IAEA Technical Cooperation project “Intergrating Isotope Techniques for Increasing Effectiveness in Water Assessment and Management.”

With corresponding support under the IWAVE project, capacity building activities to address identified priority gaps have been implemented, with some still underway. These include conducting national workshops where appropriate international experts were invited and training courses on the application of hydrological tools to improve water resources assessment.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 04:00

IAEA Expert Presents Phase 3 of ASPAMARD

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Last Updated on Monday, 21 April 2014 04:01

PNRI Hosts I-WAVE National Workshop on Isotope Data Interpretation

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Taking another step in supporting water agencies to provide our country with better access to water resources, the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute hosted the National Workshop on Isotope Data Interpretation under the International Atomic Energy Agency – Water Availability Enhancement (I-WAVE) Project from February 17 to March 7, 2014.

Renowned experts in the field of isotope hydrology served as resource persons for the training workshop. Among them are Dr. Bhishm Kumar, Dr. Matsumoto Takuya, and Dr. Luis Araguas of the IAEA Isotope Hydrology Section; Prof. Jeffrey McDonnell, University of Aberdeen, School Geosciences, Aberdeen, UK; Prof. Neil Sturchio, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago, USA, and Prof. Ian Clark, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa, Canada. They provided lectures on the principles of isotope techniques application related to groundwater assessment and groundwater dynamics and facilitated hands-on training on the use of software for groundwater dating. Moreover, through their expert guidance, they engaged the participants in the processing of past and present isotope, chemical and hydrogeological data and in the interpretation of these data to come up with conceptual models of the recharge in their respective study areas.

Participants in the three-week workshop were professionals in groundwater management and the water supply industry coming from various government agencies such as the National Water Resources Board, Local Water Utilities Administration, Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Mines and Geosciences Bureau and representatives from water districts in Regions 2 and 10. The water districts represented were the Metropolitan Tuguegarao Water District and Ilagan City Water Disctrict in , and Cagayan de Oro Water District, Butuan Water District and Manolo Fortich Water District in Region 10.

Dr. Soledad Castañeda, who heads PNRI’s Atomic Research Division, was the workshop’s Course Coordinator. PNRI researchers also participated in the training course. At the culmination of the workshop, the participants realized the importance of nuclear techniques in mapping surface and groundwater sources and in the assessment of vulnerability to contamination to improve the freshwater supply throughout the archipelago.

Contributing to the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people worldwide without access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015, I-WAVE aims to make freshwater more available to the IAEA member states, with an emphasis on groundwater supply.

The Philippines is one of the pilot countries for the I-WAVE project along with Sultanate of Oman and Costa Rica.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 01:54

PNRI Develops Wound Dressing From Honey

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The Philippine Nuclear Research Institute – Department of Science and Technology (PNRI-DOST) has developed an effective wound dressing from local honey sources in the Philippines.

Science research specialists from PNRI’s Biomedical Research Section are taking advantage of the antimicrobial properties of these local products to produce a cheaper and comparable alternative – if not a better one already – to antibiotics for treating exudating wounds and burns.

“Honey has, since ancient days, been used for medicinal purposes; its composition makes it a very effective agent for healing wounds,” said Biomedical Research Section head Zenaida De Guzman.

According to Ms. De Guzman, honey is ideal as a wound dressing not only for its antimicrobial and potentially anti-inflammatory composition, but also for its low pH level that is suitable for fast healing.

Its sugar content helps in the granulation of wounds, while its low moisture gives honey a longer shelf-life. Furthermore, honey’s low water activity helps the dressing draw out water and pus, thereby drying the wound and reducing the chances of infection.

Among the samples obtained from the University of the Philippines Los Baños, three indigenous types of honey stood out: the pineapple flower honey from Bacolod which proved comparable to the average antibiotic, the scarce coconut honey from Mindanao and the natural dark honey found in the highlands of Northern Luzon, both of which matched and at times even bested antibiotics in dealing with pathogens such as Staphylococus aureus.

As they are readily available, these honey samples provided the material for the research section’s honey dressings.

Results from initial testing in rabbits showed that the dressing healed the wounds around the same time as the generic Neomycin; in some cases, the honey treatment was a day ahead of that with the antibiotic.

Pre-clinical testing conducted in a government hospital showed that with the Honey dressing, full treatment of a burn patient was achieved earlier by a month than the usual healing time.

Sodium alginate made from brown algae, already used by hospitals for dressings, serves as a base for the honey. They are mixed and molded into a gauze before being sprayed with calcium chloride to bind them.

After being cured, dried and packaged in vacuum-packed aluminum foil, the dressing is irradiated at 25 kilogray at PNRI’s Multipurpose Irradiation Facility to keep it microbe-free and longer-lasting.

The Biomedical Research Section applied for the honey dressing’s patent last year and hopes to eventually finish the clinical tests. Ms. De Guzman expects the product’s commercialization to begin by 2015.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 07:45
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