The Memorandums of Agreement and Understanding for the SWIM Project are signed by the DOST-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute and Isabela State University through PNRI Director Dr. Carlo Arcilla (second from right) and ISU President Dr. Ricmar Aquino (second from left) as witnessed by Dr. Orlando Balderama (leftmost) of the ISU and Dr. Preciosa Corazon Pabroa (rightmost) of the PNRI. (Photo by Niňa Grace Pineda, DOST-PNRI)
Nuclear techniques eyed for more precise hydrology studies
The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) and Isabela State University (ISU) recently inked an accord to conduct collaborative studies that will use nuclear techniques to complement classic hydrology studies.
“Classical hydrology techniques will be carried out by the ISU while PNRI will complement the classic hydrology with isotope techniques to make the results more precise,” said Mr. Raymond Sucgang, PNRI project leader.
The PNRI-ISU collaboration was sealed in the signing of memorandums of agreement and understanding on March 4, 2022. Aside from collaborative research, PNRI through its Nuclear Analytical Techniques Application and ISU will be embarking on academic initiatives to come up with scientific solutions responsive to current water problems.
The project is part of the Smart Water Infrastructure Management (SWIM) Research Project which aims to introduce innovative water management approaches, technologies, and innovation that will address drought, flooding, and sedimentation in the region. It will also develop a water resources management masterplan for the LGUs, and policies and guidelines on integrated water resources management.
“Why establish SWIM R&D Center in Region 2? Because the Cagayan River Basin, the biggest basin and longest river in the country, is a recurring water hazard in the region that produces major crops such as rice, corn, sugarcane, cassava, and tobacco,” explained Dr. Orlando Balderama, ISU project leader.
With funding from the DOST through the Niche Centers in the Regions for R&D (NICER) program, the SWIM project will establish a university-based water research center. Said Center will implement R&D education and capacity building programs in the water resources sector and river basins, and provide technical extension services. Research focus will be the Batanes, Isabella. and Cagayan basins.
The Center aims to address through R&D the problems of recurring water hazards in the region due to inclement weather conditions, resulting in damages to agricultural properties. Four component R&D projects to be carried out by the Center are: (1) Smart Water Resources Planning and Development of Water Resources Projects and Interventions; (2) Integrated Assessment and Analysis of Hydraulic Assets for Sustainable and Resilient Flood Control Infrastructures; (3) GIS-Based Decision Support Tool in Managing, Monitoring and Applying Intervention of Water Infrastructure for Smart Cities: Case for Cauayan City; and (4) Smart Water Control Infrastructures for Effective Irrigation Management.
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/