The Philippine Nuclear Research Institute - Department of Science and Technology (PNRI - DOST) strengthened its capability in monitoring and irradiation through the latest additions in its stable of nuclear facilities. Particularly, PNRI inaugurated its Electron Beam Facility and received the Environmental Radiation Monitor during the opening of the Atomic Energy celebration this week at the PNRI Compound in Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City.
Warming up the event, DOST Secretary Mario G. Montejo opened the celebration with the weather update on Typhoon Hagupit. "When we speak about the weather, let's believe in PAG-ASA, when it's about nuclear, let's believe in PNRI. Let's believe in ourselves," he cheered the audience composed of institutional partners, stakeholders, media, students, DOST-PNRI personnel, as well as foreign dignitaries from Argentina, Russia, France, USA and Japan.
Secretary Montejo also thanked the Korean Government for the turnover of the radiation monitor, and the international community including the USA, Japan, Russia, and Argentina for supporting the PNRI's project on the Electron Beam Facility. This facility, the first of its kind in the country, will be useful for research, semi commercial electron beam services, and other radiation processing related applications.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Radiation Monitor System called EFRD-3300 provides continuous and real-time monitoring of ambient gamma radiation. It 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.
According to PNRI Director Dr. Alumanda M. Dela Rosa, "The additional facilities and equipment will be very helpful in improving our capabilities, not only in nuclear research but also in radiation protection and nuclear safety."
Congressman Francis Gerald Aguinaldo-Abaya, First District Representative of Cavite and Keynote Speaker during the opening program, said, "You might be wondering what a congressman and an architect are doing in this highly scientific occasion. To be honest, it is my brother Sec. Jun Abaya who is the science wiz in the family,” referring to Sec. Joseph Emilio Abaya of the Department of Transportation and Communication who himself is also a former House representative.
“In the 14th Congress, one of (my brother’s) legacies to me is the pursuit of the passage of the Comprehensive Nuclear Energy Law,” beamed Abaya who is a member of the House committees on information and communications technology, and science and technology.
House Bill 147 or the Comprehensive Nuclear Law will create a separate Regulatory Body independent of PNRI.
On the said law, he said, “I am proud to work with PNRI in shepherding (its) passage... in Congress …the bottomline is, there is a need for the Philippines to be internationally compliant with our nuclear regulatory practices.”
He then pledged to the audience that he will “continue to work hard to push for its passage during this congress.”
The ceremonies were attended by Dr. Sunil Sabharwal, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) technical officer, Dr. Young Yong Ji, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute senior researcher, and Dr. Bumsoo Han, CEO EB Tech., Co. Ltd.
Running until Friday this week, the Atomic Energy celebration will feature the Philippine Nuclear Science Quiz (PNSQ) for high school students on December 11 (Thursday), and closing/awarding ceremonies with A Night at PNRI on December 12 (Friday). (S&T Media Service)
The Environmental Radiation Monitor System called EFRD-3300 stationed in Korea.
Scale model of the Electron Beam Facility at the DOST-PNRI.