SOCHI, Russia–The Philippines emerged as among the four finalists in a category for its first ever entry in the ATOMEXPO Awards, one of the highlights of the ATOMEXPO 2019 International Forum.
This international professional award acknowledges the contribution to the development and use of nuclear technologies for the benefit of humanity.
International ATOMEXPO Forum is a global nuclear industry event with the participation of heads of government agencies, large companies, public organizations, and international experts. Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM provides a platform for organizing the forum.
Philippine Nuclear Research Institute’s Atomic Research Chief Dr. Lucille V. Abad said the Philippine entry is called Radiation-Modified Carrageenan as Plant Growth Hormone.”
Abad explained that either Gamma radiation or an Electron Beam is used to break down carrageenan powder into microscopic particles which allows them to be absorbed by plant leaves.
She said studies have proven that plants sprayed with this carrageenan growth hormone are much healthier, more resistant to pests and diseases and have a much higher yield.
“Our studies have shown that rice plants sprayed with this growth hormone can even withstand typhoons and pests and have a 20 percent higher yield—translating to an additional P50,000 per hectare income for farmers,” Abad said.
The Philippine entry was one of four finalists under the category “Nuclear technologies: Improving the quality of life” for projects in the field of non-energy application of nuclear technologies.
She said additional studies have also shown even more dramatic increases in yield for peanuts, monggo beans and other crops.
The technology has already been patented and Abad said they are ready for the private sector to take over. The government is selling the technology to a private company that will be able to mass produce and distribute the product and pay royalty to the government.
Other categories were for “Innovations for the future” (the most breakthrough and innovative technological projects); “Best start” (projects related to the launch of the national program in the field of nuclear energy); “Public acceptability” (the most effective communication projects); and “Development of human capital” (the best projects in the field of development of human resources).
A total of 52 projects from 25 countries participated in the competition, including Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Mongolia, Morocco, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Spain, Turkey, the United States of America, Uzbekistan and Zambia.
An independent international award panel consisting of world experts in the nuclear industry evaluated each project from a professional point of view and identified 17 nominees with five of them selected as the best projects during the meeting prior to the forum.
The “Multipurpose Gamma Irradiator and Mobile Unit with an Electron Beam Accelerator Developed in Brazil” project, presented by the Research Institute of Nuclear Energy and the National Commission on Nuclear Energy of Brazil IPEN-CNEN/SP, was recognized as the best in the category “Nuclear technologies: Improving the quality of life”.
The winner in the category “Innovation for the Future” was the Japanese company Marubeni Utility Services Ltd. The award in the category “Development of human capital” was given to the IAEA project “Nuclear Energy Management School”.