The Institute successfully celebrated a century's legacy of the Philippine Father of Atomic Energy, Gen. Florencio A. Medina, last November 7.
The day-long activities started off with wreath-laying ceremonies at the monument of Gen. Medina, dedication of a park in his name, and the launching of the Gen. Medina Memorial Lecture. A mutant ornamental developed at PNRI, the Cordyline 'Medina', was also formally presented to the Medina family and an exhibit featuring Gen. Medina's memorabilia similarly opened for viewing. The UP Concert Chorus rendered a musical tribute in the afternoon, following a video presentation on the life and times of Gen. Medina.
Special guests were led by DOST Undersecretary Rogelio A. Panlasigui, members of the Medina clan, officers of the Nuclear Research Foundation, friends from media, and former colleagues of Gen. Medina at the Philippine Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), which is the forerunner of today's PNRI.
The man acclaimed as the Father of Atomic Energy in the Philippines is remembered for his pioneering work as Commissioner of PAEC, and for his contributions in the peaceful use of nuclear technology during his subsequent stint at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, and at the National Science Development Board (NSDB) which he was tasked to head and organize.
Children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of Gen. Medina arrived to help organize the affair and to be part of the celebration.
The Philippine Government is set to host from 14 to 25 November, the Regional Training Course on Authorization and Inspection of Radiation Sources in Radiotherapy in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The course is being conducted under the framework of the Technical Cooperation regional radiation protection infrastructure projects, RAS/9/026 and RAS/9/039, and brings together representatives from twenty-two East and West Asian countries. Apart from fostering information exchange between these two groups, it is aimed that through the activity, participating Member States can be assisted in building up competence and expertise in controlling radiation sources in radiotherapy in accordance with international standards.
The two-week training, which will also be participated in by regulatory staff from PNRI and from the Bureau of Health Devices and Technology (Department of Health), will feature lectures, practical sessions, and a technical visit to a local radiotherapy facility. Ms. Eulinia Valdezco, who heads PNRI's regulatory division, is the Course Director.
The Nobel Committee based in Norway has announced that the world's most prestigious award for peace will jointly be conferred this year to the International Atomic Energy Agency and its Director General, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei.
The award is in recognition of the efforts of the IAEA and its Head in "preventing nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and in ensuring that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way". The announcement was met by Dr. ElBaradei, who has led the international nuclear watchdog since 1997, with a mixture of gratitude, pride and hope.
At the same time, Dr. ElBaradei acknowledged the untiring efforts of the men and women who serve the Agency, and reaffirmed his commitment to the peaceful use of nuclear energy and a nuclear weapons-free world. He cited IAEA's basic credo: "Atoms for Peace" as his and the Agency's guiding beacon.
The monumental work of the IAEA was commended by the Nobel Committee as being of "incalculable importance", especially in this time of increasing threat from nuclear weapons use and the seeming political deadlock in disarmament efforts. The Director General was likewise cited for being an unafraid advocate of new measures to strengthen the regime of international peace and security.
Dr. ElBaradei and the IAEA are set to receive their award on 10 December in Oslo, Norway, on the occasion of the death anniversary of the award's founder, scientist Alfred Nobel.