DOST highlights benefits of nuclear technology at 3rd Philippine Nuclear Congress

By Ma. Cristina C. Arayata

MANILA, Dec. 7 (PNA) — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) highlighted the benefits of nuclear technology and its contribution to support the Sustainable Development Goals on the first day of the third Philippine Nuclear Congress (PNC) held Monday at Diamond Hotel, Manila.

PNC, scheduled from December 7-9, was organized by the DOST – Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) to tackle the current status of nuclear science and technology in different fields.

It aims to expand various sectors’ participation to build stronger linkages with collaborating individuals and institutions.

The 3rd PNC was graced by representatives from agricultural, industrial, medical government and academic sectors.

According to DOST Secretary Mario Montejo, unknown to many, nuclear science and technology contributes in various fields such as health, agriculture, environment protection, among others.

This year’s PNC theme is “Meeting Challenges through Nuclear Science and Technology for Sustainable Growth”.

Montejo said the country is facing a daunting challenge of producing adequate food supply.

In a press conference, he cited that there is a promising role of Carrativa, a plant growth promoter (PGP) derived from radiation-processed carrageeenan, in meeting the challenge.

Research on Carravita was conducted by the National Crop Protection Center of the University of the Philippines, Philippine Rice Institute and DOST PNRI.

“Advantages of nuclear technology are being considered by countries,” said International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Yukiya Amano, who was the keynote speaker at the 3rd PNC.

He added that by 2030, there will be a significant increase in nuclear power plants.

Amano also noted that nuclear technology indeed contributes to Sustainable Development Goals, as cancer control, food and agriculture, water management, environment protection, health, are among the fields that use nuclear power.

Meanwhile, the event also featured the first Philippine Nuclear Youth Summit and the 2015 Nuclear Science Quiz.

“I hope that participants of the quiz will decide to pursue a career in nuclear science and technology,” uttered Montejo.

The contest aims to boost the students’ awareness on nuclear science and technology while also developing among them a healthy competition.

It covered different topics such as radiation, radioactivity, atomic and nuclear structure, nuclear and radiation technology, nuclear power, radiation protection, nuclear safety and regulations, and nuclear-related current events.

Awarding ceremony will be held on December 9 during the PNC closing ceremonies.

The summit, on the other hand, recognized the youth’s potential as they have a growing interest in nuclear and radiation technologies. It also served as a platform for high school and college students to have a voice with regard to the future of nuclear science and education in the Philippines. (PNA)