EO 164 first step to nuclear power, nuclear agency says
Executive Order 164 “Adopting a National Position for a Nuclear Energy Program and for Other Purposes” signed on February 28, 2022 by President Rodrigo Duterte is the first step to nuclear power, the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) says.
A national position or policy such as an executive order is the first of the 19 milestones approach prescribed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to assist countries that are considering embarking on a nuclear power program.
The milestones were developed by the IAEA out of the combined best practices in the past 50 years of using nuclear energy, according to PNRI Director Dr. Carlo Arcilla.
“The first milestone is a national policy. It is just the ‘gate.’ And the gate says the Philippines is considering nuclear,” says Dr. Arcilla. “But then we still have to contend with the 18 more milestones. There is still a long series of steps. But without the EO, everything will be theoretical.”
The milestone approach breaks down the activities needed in establishing the infrastructure needed for a nuclear program. Completion of each milestone serves as reference point to decide one’s readiness to proceed to the next phase.
The 19 milestones focus on the safe, secure, and peaceful use of nuclear energy. The EO is anchored on these principles to ensure that the country will apply the highest standards in the implementation of a Nuclear Energy Program.
Included in the policy are the vetting of potential locations of nuclear power plants considering all audits and recommendations, and the development of the nuclear workforce of the Philippines supported by scholarships in nuclear science and engineering, and reactor technician training.
EO 164 was based on a comprehensive study that led to the crafting of a policy encompassing a wide range of issues, including the status of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Said EO was recommended by the Nuclear Energy Program Interagency Committee (NEPIAC) chaired by the Department of Energy (DOE) and vice-chaired by the DOST. Members are the DOST agencies PNRI, PAGASA, and PHIVOLCS; and the Presidential Communications Operations Office.
Nuclear power is seen to lower electricity costs and contribute to energy security as other energy sources such as natural gas, geothermal, hydro, and coal are diminishing. Through EO 164, nuclear power, which has benefitted several countries across the globe for more than six decades, will now be considered as an option to address the country’s energy concerns.
After setting the policy, the next phase will be the preparatory work for the contracting and construction of a nuclear power plant which includes establishment of legal and regulatory frameworks and public consultations.
In a DOE-commissioned public perception survey, it was found that close to 79 percent of Filipinos approve the possible addition of nuclear energy to the country’s energy mix. (Framelia V. Anonas | PNRI-Nuclear Information and Documentation Section)
The cover page of the Mindanao Journal of Science and Technology whose first special issue is dedicated to nuclear science and technology research papers by the researchers of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute.
Nuclear research featured in journal special issue
Nuclear science and technology research is featured in the first special issue of the Mindanao Journal of Science and Technology (MJST). Published by the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP), the MJST is a double-blind peer-reviewed journal which is now indexed in the ASEAN Citation Index and in the Clarivate Analytics - Emerging Sources Citation Index.
The special issue is the product of an agreement between the USTP and the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) to produce the first-ever special issue of the MJST on nuclear science and technology. Featured researches were selected from the papers presented at the 2nd Philippine Nuclear Research and Development Conference organized by the DOST-PNRI on December 8-10, 2020 as part of its Atomic Energy Week celebration.
Authored by local and international researchers, the papers highlight the significant role of radiation in various fields, such as agriculture, biochemistry, floriculture, and molecular genetics, among others. Also included are papers on the investigation of the Philippine Research Reactor- 1 of the DOST-PNRI, the successful synthesis of the anion electrolyte membrane, and the determination of soil radon exhilaration rates, among others.
“The DOST-PNRI is immensely appreciated for forging a partnership with USTP in this endeavor, the authors for choosing MJST as the publication venue of their works, and the esteemed reviewers for sharing their time and expertise in scrutinizing the papers,” says Dr. Ruel R. Cabahug, MJST editor-in-chief.
All published papers can be accessed at: https://bit.ly/3uULPCr
For three years in a row, the PNRI has been awarded by the National Academy of Science and Technology as the DOST agency with the most number of international publications. In 2021, PNRI’s 48 research publications made up 44 percent of all the publications produced by the whole DOST System for the year.
The PNRI is the country’s lead agency in nuclear science and technology. The Institute is tasked to carry out research and development activities in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, to institute regulations on the said uses and to carry out the enforcement of said regulations to protect the health and safety of radiation workers and the general public. (Nuclear Information and Documentation Section, DOST-PNRI)
Screenshot of the MOU signing between DOST-ITDI and DOST-PNRI represented by by Dr. Annabelle Briones (leftmost, upper row) and Dr. Carlo Arcilla (leftmost, lower row), respectively.
DOST-PNRI offers easier transaction to clients via ePayment system
Clients of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) will now have quicker and easier transaction when paying for PNRI’s services, including permits and licenses. Through the ePayment system, clients will no longer have to travel to DOST-PNRI but will just have to log in to the online portal for their payment transactions.
Developed by the DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute, the ePayment System framework is composed of various interconnected information sub-systems which include modules on technical services, accounting, cashier, ePayment Portal. Commission on Audit, and Bureau of Treasury Remittance. The modules are integrated to the in-house developed enterprise information system of the DOST-PNRI.
ITDI allowed the PNRI to use the ITDI-developed ePayment System as stipulated in a Memorandum of Understanding signed January 27 by representatives of the two institutes.
“PNRI is the DOST agency with the most income,” said DOST-PNRI Director Dr. Carlo A. Arcilla as he thanked the ITDI for coming up with the system which enables clients to have convenient and accessible payment.
PNRI, since the pandemic in 2020, has set up an online appointment system to schedule face-to-face payments and prevent clients from congregating.
“We have many clients. They troop to the office in a designated place for their payment transactions, then go to Landbank to bring their proof of payment,” Arcilla said. Through the ePayment system, clients will no longer have to go to the bank as the system already includes the whole payment procedure.
“The ePayment system is a big help to our clients, who come from as far as Mindanao,” he added.
Covered by the ePayment system are transactions on PNRI’s training courses and services such as irradiation; nuclear, microbiological, and cytogenetic analyses; radiation protection; and nuclear regulatory. More information on these services can be found at https://services.pnri.dost.gov.ph/
Medical cyclotron and PET CT Scanners in one setting. DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña (third from left) says that the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute’s Nuclear Medicine Research and Innovation Centre, the first government facility that houses a medical cyclotron and PET CT scanners in one integrated setting, will sustainably provide quality nuclear imaging service. Others in photo: (L-R) DOST-PNRI Deputy Director Dr. Vallerie Ann I. Samson, DOST Undersecretary for R&D Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, DOST-PNRI Director Dr. Carlo A. Arcilla, S&T Fellow Dr. Thomas Neil B. Pascual, and Program Leader Adelina DM. Bulos. (Note: Officials in photo had a distance of more than one meter from each other and wore their face masks immediately after the quick photo-op. Photo by Niña Grace S. Pineda, TDD-NIDS).
Nuclear Medicine Center to rise at DOST-PNRI
The Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) today laid the grounds for the construction of a nuclear medicine center that will help make cancer diagnosis and treatment more affordable.
Nuclear medicine refers to a medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive materials called radiopharmaceuticals. Injected to a patient, these radiophramaceuticals produce images and are tracked by physicians through the use of specially designed cameras. Images of target tissues produced by these radiopharmaceuticals help physicians diagnose or treat a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers, heart diseases, and certain other abnormalities within the body.
Leading the groundbreaking ceremony was DOST Sec. Fortunato T. de la Peña, along with DOST Undersecretary for R&D Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara and DOST-PNRI Director Dr. Carlo A. Arcilla. The facility, called the Nuclear Medicine
Research and Innovation Centre, will house a medical cyclotron and Positron Emission Tomography- Computed Tomography (PET- CT) Imaging Centers.
As such, the Centre will be the first government facility that houses a medical cyclotron and PET CT scanners in one integrated setting.
“Through this Centre, cancer staging and management will be more affordable and reachable to the common Filipino people,” Sec. de la Peña said, emphasizing that the establishment of the Centre is “in line with the goals of universal health care for the Filipino people.”