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IAEA Director General Highlights Cooperation with the Philippines

DG in Manila

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano addressing the Third Nuclear Congress in the Philippines, 7 December 2015. (Photo: C. Brady/IAEA)

The IAEA has been contributing effectively to sustainable development for nearly 60 years, helping countries to achieve their development goals through the use of appropriate nuclear technology, Director General Yukiya Amano told the Third Philippine Nuclear Congress in Manila today.

“Here in the Philippines, for example, the IAEA technical cooperation programme has focused on the application of electron beam, gamma irradiation and research reactor technologies,” Mr Amano said in his keynote address. 

The IAEA helped with the establishment of the Electron Beam Irradiation Facility at the Philippines Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI), which carries out research and development on the many industrial applications of this technology. After Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, the IAEA worked with the Philippine authorities on assessing water and soil contamination using nuclear and isotopic techniques.

“We are working together closely on education projects aimed at encouraging young people to study nuclear science and technology,” Mr Amano said. “And there has been very successful collaboration on a project to improve management of water resources, known as IWAVE.”

The Philippine Nuclear Congress brings together professionals, practitioners and experts in nuclear science and technology from the country and across Asia and the Pacific to review significant developments in this field. From 7 to 9 December, national and international experts in the nuclear field will discuss nuclear applications in food and agriculture, health and medicine, industry and the environment, as well as current developments in nuclear safety, security and safeguards.

Mr Amano noted that the theme of the congress, Meeting Challenges through Nuclear Science and Technology for Sustainable Growth, is also a good way to sum up the IAEA’s work. He highlighted the overlap between the work of the IAEA and the 17 new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which cover areas including hunger, human health, clean water, affordable and clean energy, industry and innovation, and climate change. 

“These are all areas in which we already work closely with our Member States to help them achieve their development goals through the use of appropriate nuclear technology,” Mr Amano said.

He reaffirmed the great importance which the IAEA attaches to its cooperation with the Philippines. He pointed to new technical cooperation projects establishing quality management systems in nuclear medicine and radiotherapy.

“We look forward to strengthening that cooperation in the coming years,” Mr Amano said.

Focus on youth

While at the Congress, Mr Amano also spoke to a group of young people attending the Philippine Nuclear Youth Summit. The summit’s aim is to raise awareness of nuclear science and technology among  young people. 

“Nuclear science and technology is a very cool field to be in,” Mr Amano told participants. “You will find it personally very rewarding and you will have an opportunity to contribute to the well-being and prosperity of your own country, and of the whole world.”

He highlighted some little known applications of nuclear technology made available by the IAEA to its Member States, including the use of so-called non-destructive testing techniques to help the authorities in Nepal determine whether buildings damaged by earthquakes were safe.

Young people who decided to pursue careers in the nuclear field were likely to see some very exciting technological innovations,  Mr Amano told the young audience.

He talked about nuclear energy, which the Philippines is considering introducing, and the generations of nuclear power reactors that will be safer and generate less waste. He also spoke about new forms of medical imaging that will improve cancer diagnosis and treatment.

“You may be responsible for some of those innovations yourself,” Mr Amano said.

During his two-day visit to Manila from 7-8 December, Mr Amano was also scheduled to address parliamentarians and meet science journalists.

Nuclear science and technology is a very cool field to be in. You will find it personally very rewarding and you will have an opportunity to contribute to the well-being and prosperity of your own country, and of the whole world.
Yukiya Amano, IAEA Director General at Philippine Nuclear Youth Summit
Last update: 26 Jul 2017

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