The 46th Atomic Energy Week will be observed on December 10-14, 2018.
Nuclear scientists and researchers will conduct in-depth presentations on various nuclear and radiation applications in agriculture, food, health and medicine, industry, and the environment on December 10 and 11 at the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) in Diliman, Quezon City.
The presenatations are among the hightlights of the 49th Atomic Energy Week celebrations under the auspices of the PNRI, an agency of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). The main objective of the celebration (from December 10 -14) is to generate awareness of Filipinos on the beneficial uses of nuclear science and technology.
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Energy, will be the keynote speaker during the opening ceremonies on December 10.
As a pre-event, senior high school students, college students and young professionals will attend the 4th Philippine Nuclear Youth Summit to be held on December 4, orgnized by the Philippine Young Generation in Nuclear (PYGN), an organization of young Filipinos that promotes the practice of nuclear science and technology in the country. Officials and representatives from the International Youth Nuclear Congress will also attend the summit.
Meanwhile, 34 teams of high school students from across the country will compete in the national level of the 2018 Philippine Nuclear Science Quiz (PNSQ) on December 13.
SOME PAST ACHIEVEMENTS – By the way, scientists of PNRI have achieved significant contributions to Agriculture. One of the latest is the formulation of an extract from seaweeds that enhances the performance of rice – higher yield and better resistance to stresses.
In fruit trees, one significant contribution is the development of a seedless calamansi. The late Dr. Benito Vergara, a national scientist, irradiated scions of the Luz Calamansi introduced from Thailand several years back. The result is a seedless calamansi.
Calamansi is an important crop in the Philippines which bears fruits throughout the year. A local processor has recently received an order for 500 tons of calamansi puree from China but he could not meet the demand because the fruit is not available in really big volumes. So there is a need to produce more calamansi.
One of the first contributions of PNRI is the dwarf kamuning which has become a money-maker for some ornamental plant growers like Dr. Linda Martinez, a medical doctor from Davao City, who is growing the dwarf kamuning commercially.
Full grown dwarf Kamuning cultured by Dr. Erlinda Martinez of Davao City. More than 15 years old.
Some hobbyists have also made use of the irradiation facilities of the PNRI to produce variegated mutants of ornamental plants. Mutants which have desirable characteristics command a high price in the market.
New forms of dracaenas have also been developed by PNRI researchers, adding new income possibilities for growers of horticultural crops.
Dr. Erlinda Martinez and her two-year-old dwarf Kamuning.