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.

From December 9 to 10, experts from PNRI and South Korea will conduct technical sessions on the following technologies: “Electron Accelerator and their Environmental Applications”, “Radiation Processing Polymers by Electron Beam”, and “Environmental Radiation Monitoring in Korea” on December 9; “Nutrient and Water Management through Nuclear Analytical Techniques – Rice and Corn Production”, ”Management of Environmental Radiation Monitoring Stations in the Philippines—CTBTO RN-52 Radionuclide Monitoring Station and PNRI Online Monitoring System”, “Nuclear Analytical Techniques For Food Safety and Traceability” and “Nuclear Techniques and Technology for Environmental Applications for Harmful Algal Bloom” on December 10.

DOST Secretary Mario Montejo will deliver an inspirational message, while Congressman Francis Gerald Abaya of the 1st District of Cavite will be the keynote speaker for the opening ceremonies.

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 Thursday, 04 December 2014 05:57
 

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
 

ANSN Annual Meeting and Regional Workshop on Radioactive Waste Management

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Mr. Kai Moeller of the International Atomic Energy Agency (2nd row, 4th from right), Mr. Shigeyuki Saito of the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority (1st row, 3rd from left), Officer-in-Charge, PNRI Office of the Deputy Director Dr. Christina Petrache (1st row, 2nd from right), Ms. Editha Marcelo of the PNRI Radiation Protection Services Section (1st row, 4th from right) and Ms. Nydia Medina, National Liaison Officer and PNRI International Cooperation Section Head (1st row, extreme right) with the representatives and participants for the ANSN Annual Meeting and Regional Workshop


Doing its part in the international effort to improve radioactive waste management in the Asia-Pacific region, the Philippines, through the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute – Department of Science and Technology (PNRI-DOST), hosted the annual meeting of the Asian Nuclear Safety Network (ANSN) Radioactive Waste Management Topical Group and the ANSN Regional Workshop on Field Data Acquisition and Data Processing for the Safety Case of Waste Disposal Facilities from November 5 to 7 at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Quezon City.

The country was designated by the topical group as this year’s host following the successful plenary meeting held in South Korea last November 2013. Representatives from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines participated in the meeting, which was presided by the topical group coordinator, Mr. Shigeyuki Saito of the Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA). Technical Officer Mr. Kai Moeller of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Department of Nuclear Safety and Security led the conduct of the workshop. Ms. Editha Marcelo of the PNRI Radiation Protection Services Section served as the workshop director.

The meeting discussed the proposed activities for the 2015-2016 cycle, consisting for the most part, of workshops which will highlight the principles of spent fuel and radioactive waste management and the safe development of near surface disposal and repository sites. The regional workshop, on the other hand, focused on developing a safety case for radioactive waste disposal facilities through gathering the necessary information to adequately demonstrate the safety of these facilities.

Founded in 2002, the ANSN serves as a platform for sustainable regional cooperation on nuclear safety in the region by facilitating the exchange of nuclear safety information and practical experience among the countries.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 November 2014 07:16
 

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 Tuesday, 09 December 2014 01:33
 
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