The Philippine Government is set to host from 14 to 25 November, the Regional Training Course on Authorization and Inspection of Radiation Sources in Radiotherapy in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The course is being conducted under the framework of the Technical Cooperation regional radiation protection infrastructure projects, RAS/9/026 and RAS/9/039, and brings together representatives from twenty-two East and West Asian countries. Apart from fostering information exchange between these two groups, it is aimed that through the activity, participating Member States can be assisted in building up competence and expertise in controlling radiation sources in radiotherapy in accordance with international standards.
The two-week training, which will also be participated in by regulatory staff from PNRI and from the Bureau of Health Devices and Technology (Department of Health), will feature lectures, practical sessions, and a technical visit to a local radiotherapy facility. Ms. Eulinia Valdezco, who heads PNRI's regulatory division, is the Course Director.
The Nobel Committee based in Norway has announced that the world's most prestigious award for peace will jointly be conferred this year to the International Atomic Energy Agency and its Director General, Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei.
The award is in recognition of the efforts of the IAEA and its Head in "preventing nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and in ensuring that nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is used in the safest possible way". The announcement was met by Dr. ElBaradei, who has led the international nuclear watchdog since 1997, with a mixture of gratitude, pride and hope.
At the same time, Dr. ElBaradei acknowledged the untiring efforts of the men and women who serve the Agency, and reaffirmed his commitment to the peaceful use of nuclear energy and a nuclear weapons-free world. He cited IAEA's basic credo: "Atoms for Peace" as his and the Agency's guiding beacon.
The monumental work of the IAEA was commended by the Nobel Committee as being of "incalculable importance", especially in this time of increasing threat from nuclear weapons use and the seeming political deadlock in disarmament efforts. The Director General was likewise cited for being an unafraid advocate of new measures to strengthen the regime of international peace and security.
Dr. ElBaradei and the IAEA are set to receive their award on 10 December in Oslo, Norway, on the occasion of the death anniversary of the award's founder, scientist Alfred Nobel.
The Philippines chalks up another reason to be proud, as one of its scientists, Dr. Alumanda M. dela Rosa, Director of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute, is formally recognized internationally as among distinguished "Women In Nuclear" who have contributed significantly to the peaceful use of nuclear technology.
The World Nuclear Association (WNA), who conferred the special honor on Ms. dela Rosa, cited her "excellence in leadership and her achievements in the realm of nuclear science and technology and for embodying the value, spirit and aspirations of women in the nuclear professions throughout the world". The awarding ceremony was held on 8 September, at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Center in London, on the occasion of the 30th Annual Symposium of the WNA.
On top of her already substantial list of professional achievements, Dr. dela Rosa also recently gained honor with her appointment as Chairperson of the International Atomic Energy Agency's Standing Advisory Committee on Technical Assistance and Cooperation (SAGTAC), where she has the distinction of being the first woman Chair. She likewise performs in the following capacity: National Representative to the IAEA Regional Cooperative Agreement (RCA); National Focal Person for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO); and Philippine Coordinator for the Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia (FNCA).
Dr. dela Rosa is a Career Scientist IV who earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry as a scholar at the University of Hawaii.
Entomologist Sotero S. Resilva of the PNRI recently embarked on an expert mission to the Agricultural Research Council in Stellenbosch, South Africa to share his expertise on "Using Pupal Eye Color in Determining the Development of Medfly". The technique will be useful in assessing the optimum time for pupal irradiation, which is a critical factor in effectively rendering sterility in the said insects. The correct timing of irradiation would help achieve the required degree of sterilization without damaging the pupae nor compromising the competitiveness of the sterile flies in the field.
The Western Cape in Africa has highly developed fruit export sector that is, however, facing difficulties because pesticide use has led to environmental problems, pest resistance, and even legal impediments. Non-pesticide techniques, such as biological control, mating disruption and sterile insect technique (SIT), have therefore found its role in pest management increasing.
Mr. Resilva's ten day mission was implemented through the South African Technical Cooperation project, SAF/5/007, on Expanding the Use of the Sterile Insect Technique Against Fruit Pests in the Western and Northern Cape, which is under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency.