This article was published in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Website on May 12, 2016
Students from the Philippines participate in group discussions.
Students in the Philippines measure natural radiation using the ‘Hakaru-Kun’ instrument, a handy‐type survey‐metre developed for education purposes.
IAEA Invites Students to Learn Nuclear Science Through Play
By Laura Gil, IAEA Office of Public Information and Communication
Teachers have reached almost 10 000 students in four Asian countries through a guidebook designed to bring nuclear science and technology closer to young adults. The compendium, which is being tested by the IAEA and education experts from several countries, collects unique teaching strategies and materials to introduce science and technology in education systems.
Once final, the compendium will be available for interested policy-makers and middle and secondary school teachers across the region. It has been tested in four pilot countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United Arab Emirates, and the IAEA plans on testing it in more countries, including Jordan, Sri Lanka and Thailand, at their request. It was developed with technical inputs from Australia, Finland, India, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom and the USA.
“We want to challenge students’ curiosity and show them the important role nuclear science and technology play in everyday life,” said Maria Violeta Tupas, Education Programme Supervisor at the Department of Education in the Philippines, who has used the compendium. “And we want to do this during the students’ formative years, so that they realize what it is that motivates them before they choose their career path.”
By generating interest in science among young generations, the compendium aims at contributing to the sustainability of the nuclear industry and related technologies in the future. With populations growing, applications of nuclear technology rapidly expanding, and active nuclear scientists ageing, a new generation of professionals will soon need to step up.
Read the rest of the article at the IAEA Website
Mr. Achim Tillessen, Head of Development Cooperation at the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the Philippines and PNRI Director Dr. Alumanda Dela Rosa with members of the PNRI Senior Staff and experts from the EU Joint Research Centre (JRC) during the ribbon-cutting for the inauguration of the Radiation Portal Monitor Training Facility at the front gate of PNRI
The Radiation Portal Monitor Training Facility recently established at the PNRI compound in Quezon City
PNRI Inaugurates the Radiation Portal Monitor (RPM) Training Facility
Heralding another high mark in the field of nuclear security, the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) inaugurated a Radiation Portal Monitor (RPM) Training Facility at the PNRI compound in Quezon City on April 11.
Established with the assistance of the European Union Joint Research Centre (EU JRC) and the United States Department of Energy (USDOE), the radiation portal monitor has similar capabilities to those of its larger counterparts deployed at the ports of Manila and Cebu under the Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence Program (formerly the Megaports Initiative) engaged in by the PNRI, Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) since 2005. These RPMs are being used to detect possible illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive materials coming through the busy Philippine ports, and are an invaluable asset to the port authorities.
To sustain these efforts, the RPM at PNRI will serve as a training facility for frontline officers from the BOC and port authorities involved in operating the RPMs stationed at the ports.
“The training facility that we are inaugurating today is an important new component of the nuclear security architecture of the country, as it ensures the sustainability of the training of our frontline officers,” said DOST Secretary Mario Montejo in his inaugural remarks.
“This joint project is indeed a fitting testament to the growing partnership between the EU and the Philippines over the past 25 years,” said Secretary Montejo.
The inauguration was attended by officials, representatives and experts from the European Union, National Security Council, BOC, PPA and the Cebu Port Authority, highlighting the strong linkages among local and international agencies that made the project possible.
“Deploying equipment and holding training courses are important for establishing a nuclear security culture but it is not enough. A harmonized approach and a national strategy as well as trained users and skilled experts are to be part of the efforts in order to reach long-term sustainability,” said Achim Tillessen, Head of Development Cooperation at the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines.
The EU official highlighted the excellent and close cooperation of the EU with PNRI not only in nuclear security but also in emergency preparedness and response. He also congratulated the Philippines for receiving the Atoms for Peace award during the 4th Nuclear Security Summit on April 1.
The inauguration was immediately followed by the opening of the National Frontline Officer Training on Radiation Detection Techniques and Procedures, which was concluded on April 14.
Top Photos: Ginampay variety of Adlai
Bottom Photo: A PNRI researcher measures the height of the putative mutant Adlai; its seeds were irradiated at a 100-gray (Gy) dose of gamma radiation
PNRI Improves Adlai Crops with Irradiation Technology
Helping to overcome Juan Dela Cruz’s challenges in agricultural production and food security, agriculture research specialists from the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) are developing better varieties of Adlai or Job’s Tears, which may serve as a substitute to the country’s staple food crops such as rice and corn.
While just as rich in carbohydrates and protein, Adlai is unfortunately not as well-known as its cousin crops, except among the indigenous communities. In other Asian countries, Adlai is also used to produce flour, coffee, tea, wine, beer and vinegar, among other products. Adlai also has some medicinal properties that can help mitigate the symptoms of allergies, diabetes and even cancer. Lastly, Adlai is also known for its resilience in the face of extreme conditions, such as droughts and typhoons.
With the unique advantage of gamma radiation, PNRI has been working since 2013 to improve the agronomic traits of Adlai by making mutant varieties that yield more grain and mature earlier, while also having shorter heights to make the crops more resistant to lodging during typhoons. These improvements will also complement the Food Staples Sufficiency Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA), which encourages the diversification of staple food crops beyond rice by increasing production, ensuring market availability and lowering its prices.
Researchers from the PNRI Agriculture Research Section used the Ginampay variety of Adlai for mutation breeding in the Institute’s experimental field, where the putative mutants are already in their third and fourth generations. After irradiating the seeds with doses of 100 to 200 gray (Gy), they are planted and grown for further observation.
The research and development studies currently show promising results as the putative mutant breeds yielded from 790 kilograms of grain per hectare (kg/ha) to as much as 900 kg/ha, which is around 30-50% higher than the yield of average crop breeds. Meanwhile, the putative Adlai mutants were also 40-57% shorter than the unirradiated Adlai.
Aside from developing mutant varieties, PNRI also seeks to improve the fertilizer, soil nutrient and water management practices for Adlai. Field experiments were also being conducted in partnership with the Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM) under an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) project on “Enhancing Productivity of Locally-Underused Crops Through Dissemination of Mutated Germplasm and Evaluation on Soil, Nutrient and Water Management Practices”.
The PNRI researchers will continue to develop the Adlai crops up to the eighth generation to complete the mutation breeding process.
This article was published on Inquirer.net on April 2, 2016
FIGHTING TERRORISM Science Secretary Mario Montejo received on behalf of the Philippines the Atom for Peace Award signifying the country’s role in preventing terrorists from getting nuclear materials at the White House. AFP
PH bags Atoms for Peace Award
By Estrella Torres – Inquirer.net
The Philippines has won the prestigious Atoms for Peace Award at this year’s Nuclear Security Summit for its contribution to nuclear security and global leadership in removing highly enriched uranium from its territory.
Science Secretary Mario G. Montejo received the award at the Nuclear Industry Summit in Washington on Thursday, hosted by President Barack Obama.
Read the full article at Inquirer.net