Kerala Governor Arif Muhammed Khan has called for the usage of radiation technology to optimise the use of material and energy so as to improve productivity.

The challenge before the government scientific community and the society is to strike a balance by finding proper solutions to optimise the use of resources and increase productivity, he said.

He was inaugurating NICSTAR – 2023 - the international conference on Radiation Technologies- Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development here.

The four-day conference is organised by National Association for Application of Radioisotopes and Radiation in Industry (NAARRI) in association with Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna.

Isotopes application

The application of isotopes has spread in the areas like energy production, industrial diagnostic methods, archaeology, geology, ecology and astronomical sciences. In medicine the use of radioisotopes has revolutionised the treatments of various types of cancers and other diseases.

‘What we need to cultivate and celebrate is a culture of greater faith in the efforts of our scientific community- a belief that science exists for the benefits of the common man. The need for building such faith applies more to nuclear energy were some people associate only with more fear. Its role in medicine, boosting agriculture and ensuring food safety- all need to be highlighted more,’ Khan said.

Ajit Kumar Mohanty, Director Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) said the development agenda of a country is a national imperative which has to be relentlessly pursued for the socio-economic development of its people. Radiation technology and Radiation isotopes bring sustainable development across multiple domains.

Food preservation technology

Using the techniques of mutation breeding carried out by gamma radiation about 62 varieties of groundnut, moong dal, pigeon pea, cow pea, urad dal, mustard, soyabean, rice and jute sunflower have been developed and released for cultivation. Gamma radiation has been actively used for improving the shelf life of different commodities including onion and potatoes. Food preservation technology developed for various items have also been transferred to various farms for commercial deployment. The technology of converting sewage sludge into organic manure has also been developed, he said.

P.J Chandy, Secretary NAARRI said the institute has been instrumental in promoting several atomic energy programs including radiation technology programs for the benefit of the society.