Atomic energy applications increase

16:58 | 05/12/2016 Science - Technology

(VEN) - Atomic energy applications have been well-known in the life and have made great contributions to the country’s socioeconomic development.  

According to Vietnam Atomic Energy Agency Director Hoang Anh Tuan, during the 2011-2016 period, atomic energy has been widely applied in various fields such as health, industry, agriculture and environmental resources. In particular, some applications have been recognized at the regional and international level.

Many modern radiotherapy techniques at the regional and international level have been deployed in Vietnam in cancer treatment. Moreover, Positron Emission Tomography-Computed Tomography (PET/CT), a basically nuclear medicine technique has become a normal rule in cancer, cardiovascular and neurological diagnosis and treatment in Vietnam. Vietnam has self-produced radiopharmaceuticals for medical purpose. According to statistics, total demand for radiopharmaceuticals in the Vietnamese health sector stands at nearly 1,400Ci per year, including 400Ci per year provided by the Da Lat Nuclear Research Institute.

Regarding the industrial sector, tracer technique not only has been applied in oil and gas exploitation in Vietnamese fields such as Bach Ho, Rong, Rang Dong, Su Tu Den and Chim Sao but also has been exported abroad like Kuwait, Angola and Malaysia. This technique is highly appreciated by the International Atomic Energy Agency. In addition, Vietnam successfully studied the Industrial Computed Tomography scanning with the introduction of GORBIT devices that were exported to seven countries following the International Atomic Energy Agency’s orders.

In terms of the agricultural sector, Vietnam currently ranks eighth in mutation breeding research, and the Agricultural Genetics Institute won the outstanding achievement award in mutation breeding by radiation. Mutation breeding by radiation has seen a significant advance as 61 varieties have been put into production, including 65 percent of them generated by the Agricultural Genetics Institute.

More than 90 percent of mutant varieties are created through the use of X-rays and gamma rays and all of them have high yield and good quality. For example, two varieties of NPT4 and NPT5 were successfully created by 60Co gamma ray sources with 250-300Gy.

The application of irradiation technology has been deployed in Vietnam in seafood and agricultural products, especially fruits serving exports. Nine radiation projectors at industrial scale in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong and Can Tho are seen as a high number compared to Southeast Asian countries. In particular, the Research and Development Center for Radiation Technology (VINAGAMMA) mastered the design technology of Co-60 irradiation equipment and sent experts to Cuba to support for the restoration of irradiation devices.

To promote the application of atomic energy, the prime minister approved the strategy on developing nuclear power for peaceful purposes by 2020. Moreover, to specify the tasks in the strategy, the prime minister also approved the master plan on development and application of atomic energy for peaceful purposes by 2020. Ministries and departments have built plans to submit to the prime minister for approval.

The Ministry of Science and Technology is developing the amended Law on Atomic Energy and will submit to the National Assembly for consideration and promulgation in 2018. The amendment of the Law on Atomic Energy aims to be more suitable with international practices and recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the new situation.

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Pham Cong Tac:

Vietnam has received great attention and support from the International Atomic Energy Agency and partners in order to promote the development of the domestic nuclear energy sector. Vietnam’s commitments are to apply atomic energy in a safe manner for peaceful purposes in accordance with sustainable development targets.

Quynh Nga