The radionuclide monitoring station designated as PHP52 in Tanay, Rizal, recently merited formal certification from the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) that is based in Vienna, Austria.
In a letter from the Director of the organization's International Monitoring System Division, the Philippines was informed that after a careful review by their Certification Group, the said monitoring facility was found to have met all technical requirements and is thus being granted formal certification.
The same letter expressed appreciation to the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute and the Scientific Solutions, Inc. (SSI), contractor for PHP52, who both worked closely in elevating the radionuclide station among the network of stations in the International Monitoring System.
The PHP52 is one of three monitoring stations situated in the Philippines that form part of the global verification regime established by the CTBTO to monitor compliance to the Treaty. The other two consist of auxiliary seismic stations in Davao and Tagaytay, operated by the Manila Observatory and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), respectively.
The Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia (FNCA) 2005 Workshop on Biofertilizer commenced on 9 January, at the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute, with Science & Technology Secretary, Dr. Estrella F. Alabastro, keynoting the affair.
In her address, Secretary Alabastro expounded on the importance of biofertilizer and highlighted its contribution to the over-all agricultural program of the government.
Co-hosted the workshop is the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan with its representative Ms. Takiko Sano emphasized the significance of the application of nuclear technology in agriculture which has a large potential to contribute in the enhancement of the quality of life in the Asian region.
Dr. Tadashi Yokoyama, Project Leader of the Biofertilizer project in Japan, provided an overview of the Biofertilizer project, which showcases part of the cooperative efforts in the region at applying radiation and radioisotopes to benefit agriculture.
The Workshop features country presentations, special lectures, discussions on project evaluation and future plans, and a technical visit to the BIOTECH at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños and at a bio-N mixing plant in Capaz, Tarlac.
A total of eleven delegates from Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam flew in to attend the one-week Workshop, which is also participated in by four delegates coming from the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute and BIOTECH, UPLB, and by observers from the Bureau of Soils and Water Management.
The FNCA Biofertilizer Project is being spearheaded locally by Mr. Richard Balog of the Agricultural Research Section, PNRI.
Through the joint efforts of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute, the Philippine Radiation Oncology Society and the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, a Regional Training Course on Current Standards and Future Directions in Radiation Oncology will be held next week at the Manila Hotel.
The Course brings together 25 participants from ten Member States of the IAEA who are participating in the regional project, RAS/6/040, under which auspices the training activity is being held.
The end-in-view is to assist participating countries to strengthen their national radiotherapy infrastructure through the integration of educational and applied research activities into their respective national development objectives. Included in the topics to be covered are the importance of rationalizing scientific programs in the Member States; the role of quality assurance and quality control in radiotherapy; the need to promote public awareness and partnerships; and enhancing self-reliance through good management strategies and practices.
The list of distinguished lecturers come from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, USA; the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Japan; the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, Canada; the Duke University Medical School and the University of Florida, both in the USA. Dr. Teresa Sy Ortin of the Santo Tomas University Hospital also joins the list of faculty for the one-week training.
An exhibit will be set up for viewing during the event, for which Dr. Miriam Joy Calaguas of the St. Luke's Medical Center will serve as Course Director.
Dr. Calaguas is the National Project Coordinator for the pertinent regional project.
The Philippine Nuclear Research Institute has recently joined the ranks of six other select Institutions throughout the world that have been designated as an IAEA Collaborating Center.
In ceremonies that were timed with the Opening of the Atomic Energy Week, the marker officially recognizing PNRI as a Collaborating Center for Marine Toxicity Studies was unveiled.
Dr. Fauzi Mantoura, Director of the IAEA Marine Environment Laboratory in Monaco, led in the unveiling, with S&T Secretary Estrella F. Alabastro and PNRI Director Alumanda M. dela Rosa officially accepting the recognition on behalf of the Institute.
The designation of collaborating centers is a newly-introduced scheme at the Agency, whereby an institution that is recognized internationally in a specific field of endeavor agrees to work with the IAEA through the conduct of research, development and training activities in a relevant nuclear technology.
Since 2004, six other centers have been designated by the IAEA in the fields of: Plant Breeding and Genetics; Environmental Radioecology; Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging; Synchrotron Radiation Applications; Production & Characterization of Matrix Reference Materials; and Animal Genomics and Bioinformatics.