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Filipino Physicist Wins in Nuclear Olympics

Anton Tanquintic, a young Filipino physicist won honors in the World Nuclear University (WNU) 2015 Olympiad. Tanquintic came in second place among five finalists for his presentation on the production of radioisotopes and their application on food and agriculture.

A 22-year cum laude graduate of Applied Physics and Materials Engineering from Ateneo de Manila University, Tanquintic’s “Nuclear Solutions for Today’s Needs” video of digitally drawn animation shows the daily application of nuclear energy and the positive impact of nuclear science that benefits medicine, food production and industry.   

Contrary to conventional belief, nuclear techniques are commonly used today and that these techniques are safe and beneficial and the fear of the word “nuclear” is unfounded. It is a “Rebranding” of the word “nuclear” that is needed.

Applications of nuclear techniques such as in medicine where Cobalt-60 is cited wherein it sterilizes over half of medical supplies in modern hospitals. Industrial applications such as detection of defects in metal structures is conducted by using gamma rays were also given as an example.

Pest control in farming and food production is also a beneficiary of nuclear techniques wherein it was used to sterilize insects thus making them incapable of reproducing are utilized in pest control in farmlands.  

Improved harvests are achieved by use of hereditary changes that employs mutation breeding that is radiation induced. Desirable traits are made by changing the DNA of plants by radiation thus new varieties are made.  
The use of Ultra-Violet (UV) lights in vegetable compartments in refrigerators lengthens the shelf life of the produce.
The topic of the nuclear olympiad for this year is “Nuclear Techniques for Global Development”. It is an opportunity in showcasing the creativity and knowledge of the participants with regards to Nuclear Sciences and Applications and their impact on human lives.

The Final round of the Olympiad was held in Vienna, Austria.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) hosted the event on the margins of its 59th General Conference.

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