The Department of Science and Technology: Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) will spearhead the 48th Atomic Energy Week (AEW) celebration on 7-11 December 2020.
This year’s celebration focuses on enhancing public awareness on breakthroughs in nuclear research, beneficial uses of nuclear science and technology, advances in radiation technology, and safety in undertaking activities involving radioactive materials. In line with these, PNRI will hold a Nuclear Video Making Contest (NVMC 2020).
NucleART 2.0 Digital Poster Making Contest
Heads up to all high school students! Smarty needs your help in making nuclear science and technology work for you through your best DIGITAL NucleART!
Welcome to NucleART 2.0, where Smarty will pick the best digital posters covering nuclear science and technology in general, or its particular applications in agriculture, medicine, industry, environment. and energy, among others.
Participants may join the contest individually or form a team with a maximum of three (3) members. Each team or individual may submit one entry only. Deadline for submission of entries is on November 13, 2020.
Prizes for winners are as follows:
i. First Prize: Cash Prize of P7,500.00
ii. Second Prize: Cash Prize of P5,000.00
iii. Third Prize: Cash Prize of P2,500.00
The increasing need coupled with a rising price of energy and environmental concerns associated with fossil-fuel use and other traditional sources of energy in the country generates a strong clamor for a cleaner and more sustainable alternative sources. The current administration is considering nuclear energy as a long-term option. In 2017, the Nuclear Energy Program Implementing Organization (NEP10) was set-up in the Department of Energy (DOE) to coordinate efforts and activities toward nuclear power development in the Philippines. Given these developments, it is necessary to revisit the country's nuclear energy plan. Nuclear power is not new in the Philippines, as the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) is a testament to a once-promising energy venture that was mothballed for enviropolitical reasons. The BNPP would have been the first operational nuclear power plant in Southeast Asia, but was abandoned in 1985. The Philippine government nonetheless continues to spend for its annual maintenance costs of some P 40-50 million pesos.
There are 445 nuclear reactors in the world which are currently in operation and another 57 under construction. A total of 30 countries are involved in nuclear energy production including the US, France, China, Japan and Russia. The global capacity of nuclear power has progressively decreased due to changes in Western government policies and the shutdowns of reactors in Japan, Germany and the US. There is, however, an increase in global nuclear generation by 1.4 % in 2016 largely attributed to China's 23% rise. The nuclear power's share in total generation mix fell to 11% in 2015 but still corresponds to nearly a third of the world's low carbon electricity production.
In the ASEAN region, the primary demand for energy grew by 70% between 2000 and 2016. Threefourths of the region's energy production are based on fossil fuels. Vietnam is most serious about nuclear power as manifested by its agreement with Russia and Japan to build two plants. < Click to read the whole article >
A researcher preparing radiation-grafted polymers which can be used to recover uranium from seawater
A small pellet of uranium the size of a pencil eraser produces as much energy as a ton of coal, or three barrels of oil (149 gallons), or about two fuel tankers (17,000 cubic feet) of natural gas. Photo from US Nuclear Regulatory Commission
DOST’s nuclear scientists to recover uranium from seawater
As the government mulls to include nuclear in the country’s energy mix, local scientists are looking at seawater to possibly source uranium which serves as power source for nuclear energy.
“Seawater is an unconventional uranium resource, where this heavy metal is known to be abundant and pseudo-renewable,” says Dr. Jordan Madrid of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute. Dr. Madrid heads a project which will provide a way to tap uranium through the development of adsorbent through radiation grafting technology.
Dr. Madrid’s team earlier used radiation technology to develop abaca into a non-woven fabric that can filter toxic materials such as heavy metals and other contaminants.
If uranium can be recovered locally from seawater, it may help alleviate costs and importation challenges of nuclear fuel, Dr. Madrid says.