The Third Philippine Nuclear Congress
After almost two decades, the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) and its partner agencies will once again convene the Philippine Nuclear Congress (PNC) on December 7 to 9, 2015 in Manila, Philippines.
The PNC is a multi-sectoral forum for information exchange on the current status of nuclear science and technology in various fields. More than an assessment of the state and contributions of nuclear science and technology in national development, the congress aims to expand the participation of the different sectors to establish stronger linkages with collaborating institutions and individuals.
The 1976 Philippine Nuclear Congress held at the Philippine International Convention Center
The First Philippine Nuclear Congress (1976)
The country’s first nuclear congress was held in 1976, exactly thirty-nine years before this year’s congress. The first PNC adopted the theme “Partnerships for Progress Through Atomic Energy” and was held at the Philippine International Convention Center.
Experts and representatives from the fields of energy, food, environment, industry, medicine and education pooled their knowledge and experience to improve applications of nuclear science in their respective areas of expertise and, ultimately, to support the National Atomic Energy Plan that paved the way for the construction of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. The Congress was organized by the Philippine Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) under the Office of the President, which is now the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) under the Department of Science and Technology.
The Second Philippine Nuclear Congress in 1996 with IAEA Director General Hans Blix (center) as guest speaker
The Second Philippine Nuclear Congress (1996)
Twenty years later, the second PNC was convened from December 10-12, 1996. This coincided with the 100th anniversary of the discovery of radioactivity by Henri Becquerel.
With the theme “Challenges of Nuclear Technology for the 21st Century”, the second PNC sought to respond to global issues through nuclear science and technology as applied in various sectors, especially to prepare for the next millennium. The Congress was graced with the presence of Dr. Hans Blix, the then-Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Many nuclear and radiation applications have already been developed since the previous Congress, which came in time to meet the greater demands for food, water and energy, as well as worldwide problems in health, and environmental protection. Back then, the Philippines was also reconsidering nuclear power for the country’s energy mix, as President Fidel Ramos created a Nuclear Power Steering Committee for the implementation of a comprehensive nuclear program.
The Upcoming Third Philippine Nuclear Congress (2015)
Today, the Philippines has come a long way in harnessing the power of the atom in the fields of agriculture, health, industry and environment, as well as nuclear safety, safeguards and security. These achievements and more will be showcased in the third PNC, which will be held on December 7-9, 2015. With the theme, "Meeting Challenges through Nuclear Science and Technology for Sustainable Growth", the Third Philippine Nuclear Congress (PNC) will once again provide a valuable forum for reviewing the global, regional and national scenarios in nuclear science and technology applications for technological development and inclusive growth.
IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano (right), who visited the Philippines in January 2015, will be the keynote speaker for the 3rd Philippine Nuclear Congress on December 7-9, 2015
For the third PNC, the current IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano was invited to be the keynote speaker. Director General Amano previously visited the Philippines in January 2015 as part of his tour of the IAEA Member States in Southeast Asia. He applauded the country’s efforts not only in advancing the uses of nuclear science and technology but also in contributing to the development of our neighboring countries in the nuclear field.
From December 7 to 9, national and international experts in the nuclear field will present and discuss applications in food and agriculture; health and medicine; industry; and the environment; as well as current developments in nuclear safety, security and safeguards. Exhibits by scientific societies, government agencies, and members of the academic and research sectors will also be featured during the Congress.
First Philippine Nuclear Youth Summit and 2015 Philippine Nuclear Science Quiz
The upcoming Congress will witness the launching of the first Philippine Nuclear Youth Summit on the first day of the PNC, in recognition of the youth’s great potential as well as their growing interest in nuclear and radiation technologies. This will afford students from colleges and secondary schools across the country a voice in the future of nuclear science and education in the country.
The Congress will also host the 2015 Philippine Nuclear Science Quiz at the National Level, where the qualifying contenders from the various DOST Regional Clusters will compete for the top spots.
With representatives from the agricultural, industrial, medical, government and academic sectors gathering together to assess the state and contributions of nuclear science and technology in national development, the Third Philippine Nuclear Congress will be one of the significant milestones in the history of nuclear science and technology in the Philippines.