The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) highlighted the benefits of nuclear technology and its contribution to support the Sustainable Development Goals on the first day of the third Philippine Nuclear Congress (PNC) at the Diamond Hotel in Manila.
The PNC, which will be held from December 7-9, was organized by the DOST – Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) to tackle the current status of nuclear science and technology in different fields. It aims to expand various sectors’ participation to build stronger linkages with collaborating individuals and institutions.
In attendance were representatives from the agricultural, industrial, medical government
and academic sectors. This year’s PNC theme is “Meeting Challenges through Nuclear Science and Technology for Sustainable Growth”.
According to DOST Secretary Mario Montejo, nuclear science and technology contributes in various fields such as health, agriculture, environment protection, among others.
Montejo said the country, in particular, was facing a daunting challenge of producing adequate food supply. In a press conference, he noted the promising role of carrativa, a plant growth promoter (PGP) derived from radiation-processed carrageeenan, in meeting the challenge.
Research on carravita was conducted by the National Crop Protection Center of the University of the Philippines, Philippine Rice Institute and DOST PNRI.
“Advantages of nuclear technology are being considered by countries,” said International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Yukiya Amano, who was the keynote speaker at the 3rd PNC.
He added that by 2030, there will be a significant increase in nuclear power plants.
Amano also noted that nuclear technology contributes to Sustainable Development Goals as cancer control, food and agriculture, water management, environment protection, health, are among the fields that use nuclear power.
The event also featured the first Philippine Nuclear Youth Summit and the 2015 Nuclear Science Quiz. The contest aims to boost the students’ awareness on nuclear science and technology while also developing among them a healthy competition.
The summit recognized the youth’s potential given growing interest in nuclear and radiation technologies. It also served as a platform for high school and college students to have a voice with regard to the future of nuclear science and education in the Philippines.