Saturday, November 07, 2015

S$63m drive to build core of 100 nuclear experts in Singapore

Is Singapore going nuclear? This issue wasn't really raised in during the election. Lee Hsien Loong has not ruled out Singapore going nuclear.

I archive this Singapore & nuclear in our media.

S$63m drive to build core of 100 nuclear experts in Singapore

NUS to offer engineering and physics students a minor in medical physics


With nuclear technology being used pervasively in various industries and neighbouring countries considering the adoption of it, the National Research Foundation (NRF) is setting aside S$63 million to fund a new programme to train more scientists and engineers in this area.

Under the 10-year Nuclear Safety Research and Education Programme announced yesterday, the NRF hopes to train about 100 such experts in the next decade.

By about 2024, it is hoped that these scientists and engineers will be experts in three areas — radiochemistry, radiobiology and risk assessment.

Radiochemistry is the study of radiation in the environment — such as in the air, water and soil. In radiobiology, scientists study the impact of low-level doses of radiation on humans; while those in risk assessment study the activities of a nuclear reactor and what to do if things go wrong.

The programme, which will have S$63 million set aside for the first five years, is part of plans to keep Singapore abreast of nuclear technology developments in the region.

Said NRF CEO, Professor Low Teck Seng: “Many of our neighbours are looking at nuclear technology and it is important, as the Prime Minister says, for us to be aware, be knowledgeable and, as such, be able to assess the technology and its impact on Singapore — be it in terms of the potential it has for us, in terms of the risk we face, as well as the ability to harness its potential in every aspect.”

For a start, the National University of Singapore will offer engineering and physics students a minor in medical physics, which will give those with an interest in nuclear technology a foundation in the subject. With this minor, they can opt for nuclear physics subjects that can be applied in medicine — for example, imaging techniques such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Post-graduate scholarships will be available for students to pursue nucleartechnology studies abroad.

The NRF is also looking into public education to strengthen awareness of the benefits and safety aspects of nuclear technology. CHANNEL NEWSASIA

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