PH readying electron beam facility

Wednesday, December 28, 2011 12:00 AM    Views : 830by:ROY C. MABASA

MANILA, Philippines To prepare for the establishment of an electron beam (EB) facility in the country in 2012, a representative of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) recently visited the Department of Chemistry of Hacettepe University in Ankara in Turkey to learn about the technology and at the same time forge collaboration between the two institutes.

Dangal ng Bayan 2011 awardee Dr. Lucille V. Abad's five-day visit to the Hacettepe University's Polymer Group which is under the supervision of Prof. Olgun Güven was also designed to build up the PNRI's capability for EB radiation processing applications.

Abad's scientific visit was made possible through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under its Technical Cooperation Program for the 2009-2011 cycle on the establishment of an EB facility in the Philippines.

Under this project, IAEA had committed to allot 550,000 for the purchase of an EB accelerator and 123,280 for staff development.

Applications in health, agriculture and environment benefit from the changes in material properties created by electron beam accelerators.

While the group at Hacettepe University's focus is essentially on basic researches, PNRI, as an agency of the Department of Science and Technology, concentrates on the development of technology for specific applications in accordance with the science and technology objectives of the Philippines.

Abad's visit brought in several new ideas on radiation processing that could be useful for PNRI's new e-beam technology program.

Among these are emerging technologies such as nanogels and nanoparticles as antibacterial/antifungal agents for health and agricultural applications or postharvest coatings for fruits and vegetables and some grafted polymers or nanofibers for adsorbent of pollutants in air and water or collection of precious metals.

Güven previously visited PNRI prior to Abad's visit to Hacettepe's laboratory.

Recognizing the needs and conditions of research of the Radiation Processing Group at PNRI, he said it is his desire to forge collaboration between the two institutes.

Moreover, a PNRI staff is scheduled for a four-month fellowship in Hacateppe University laboratory for the development of a radiation grafted matrix as saxitoxin (red tide toxin) adsorbent.

Abad, who completed her Doctorate in Nuclear Engineering and Management at the University of Tokyo, also intends to invite Güven for a visit at PNRI as a technical expert next year.

PNRI anticipates that such collaboration will promote new modes of cooperation between the two institutes that will foster scientific exchanges beneficial to both countries.

PNRI is a research and development center established by the government to manage the study of nuclear energy and technology. In 1958 the Philippine Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) was established by virtue of Republic Act 2067 or the Science Act of 1958. Ten years later, the Atomic Energy Regulatory and Liability Act of 1968 (RA 5207) established PAEC as a nuclear research and development facility. Under Presidential Decree 606 on December 13, 1974, PAEC was removed from the National Science Development Board and placed under the office of the President, then under the Ministry of Energy on October 6, 1977.

PAEC was again put under the office of the President under Executive Order 613 on August 15, 1980. On July 27, 1981, Executive Order 708 placed it under the prime minister. It was placed under the National Science and Technology Authority (NSTA), which was organized from the former NDSB. When NSTA was reorganized into the DoST on January 30, 1987, PAEC was changed into the present PNRI.


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