Maintaining the security and safety of food supply has been a major challenge in Asia and the Pacific region where the population and the consumer demand for safe, wholesome and nutritious foods are increasing rapidly. The RCA has put efforts in finding solutions for sustainable agricultural development in the region with a holistic approach of applying nuclear technologies to the production cycle of agricultural products from breeding crops to storing processed goods
Through the RCA projects, plant breeding techniques, for instance radiation-induced mutation, were facilitated to assist the GPs in improving agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability. By applying the techniques in a safe and appropriate way, new crop varieties have resulted in high yields and profitable return to the farmers. In addition, nuclear-technology-applied fertilizers, such as Plant Growth Promoter (PGP), have been introduced to stimulate better plant immune system of the plants and reduce the environment pollution by deducting the use of chemical fertilizer and pesticide. In another area, irradiation technology has been applied to enhance food security. It can extend the shelf-life of foods through the reduction of biological contamination of foodstuffs. It has also been very effective in the phytosanitary (plant health) treatment of plants and crops for export. Irradiation has been recognised as a safe and practical technology to secure food safety to foster global trade and economic development of the GPs, and at the same time, respond to the stricter human health and plant health controls worldwide# Agricultural Development # High Yields And Profitable # Plant Growth Promoter # Phytosanitary (Plant Health)
The onrush of industrialization and urbanization in Asia-Pacific countries attributed to the shortage of fresh water and clean air, undermining the living conditions of the residents. The RCA has been seeking for integrated solutions through applying nuclear technologies to combat these environmental pollutions.
For instance, to address the scientific and societal issues involving fresh water resources, isotope techniques have been widely promoted to assess the quality of water supplies. The techniques give a direct insight into the movement and distribution processes of pollutants by tracking the indicators of contamination in the water.
Further, the RCA successfully established and upgraded the Asia-Pacific Marine Radioactivity Database (ASPAMARD), a comprehensive compilation of radionuclides in the regional seas and marine organisms. This database has taken a role of detecting radiological sources and observing any spatial or temporal trends in the territorial water of the GPs.
Alleviation of air pollution was another challenge that the region confronted. The RCA has implemented projects to transfer highly sophisticated nuclear technologies used to monitor air particulate matters (APM) and analyze microscopic particles of pollutants. It has contributed to facilitating regulations on air pollution in some countries, as well as establishing a regional database on air pollutants.# Isotope Techniques # Asia-Pacific Marine Radioactivity Database # Monitor Air Particulate Matters
The RCA has undertaken various activities to improve patient care in fighting non-communicable diseases in the region, such as cancer, and to strengthen the workforce and expert network by providing education to professionals and sharing knowledge and expertise among the GPs.
Through RCA projects on nuclear medicine technologies, the developing countries have adopted advanced techniques of imaging and diagnosing disease matters. The imaging technology has allowed the technicians to identify functional and molecular changes in human bodies, enabling them to detect unhealthy conditions of patients and plan treatment at an earlier stage. In addition, the online set of training materials for nuclear medicine professionals made possible through the establishment of Distance Assisted Training On-Line (DATOL), has made it possible to provide sustainable education even to those physicians who had previously found such access to such training out of reach, due to financial and locational constraints Another notable achievement has been the regional improvement in the quality of radiotherapy, a major cancer therapy that has been effective in curing or relieving the cancer symptoms using ionizing radiation. The RCA has provided focused training, as well as expert consultations on the performance and quality assurance of radiotherapy practices, that have contributed significantly to the strengthening of the human and institutional capacities of the GPs and through these actions significantly enhance the quality of patient care in the region.# Nuclear Medicine Technologies # Establishment Of Distance Assisted Training On-Line (DATOL) # Ionizing Radiation
The RCA has played a pivotal role in applying nuclear technology to industrial sectors of the region. Specifically, RCA projects have contributed to improving the competitiveness of manufactured products through better quality control at low cost.
Radiation processing utilizes ionizing radiation technology to produce advanced materials. The outcomes from R & D activities in this technology has facilitated the introduction of cheaper and environmental-friendly means of production and has led to commercialization of these products. One example of the application is in the area of radiation crosslinking, which is now widely used for the production of insulated wires and cables, plastic pipes, heat shrinkable tubes and films, plastic foams, hydrogels and automobile tyres, resulting in a wide range of commercial opportunities, income generation and economic development of the region.
Other application areas in industry are non-destructive testing (NDT), which is an essential part of the quality assurance in the construction and manufacturing industries, and radiotracers, which are uniquely able to assist in the on-line diagnosis of operational problems in processing industries. Through RCA projects, technicians acquired competence in utilizing the technology, leading to more affordable maintenance services and reliable assessment, and eventually contributing to the sustainable growth of their socio-econom# Ionizing Radiation Technology # Environmental-Friendly Means Of Production # Non-Destructive Testing (NDT)
The wide application of ionizing radiation from medicine to industries has brought great advantages in our everyday life but it has also increased the potentials for exposure to radiation sources. It has long been recognised that exposure to high levels of radiation, externally or internally can result in long-term negative health consequences.
In this regard, the RCA has strongly promoted radiological protection techniques used for controlling medical/occupational exposure and measuring dose uptake. This effort has contributed to reducing expected dose and securing radiation safety of patients and workers. Moreover, it established the groundwork for transboundary networks to facilitate information exchange and communication among the GPs. In particular, the Asia Region ALARA (keeping radiation “As Low As Reasonably Achievable”) Network (ARAN) was established to facilitate the principle of maintaining exposure of the patients and personnel to ionizing radiation at a practically low level.
These RCA’s initiatives have supported further expansion of nuclear technologies and their safe. RCA activities are expected to continue to sustain radiation protection, enhancing the safety of workers, people and the environment of the region# Asia Region ALARA # Sustain Radiation Protection # Ionizing Radiation At A Practically Low Level