KIRAMS Committed to Development of
Domestic Radiological & Medical Industries

Korea sets its sights on raising the portion of the non-power sector from the current 10 percent to 30 percent by the year 2015

Korea Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences (KIRAMS), a pioneer in radiation and health in Korea, strives to reposition itself as an entity responsible for the development of the pledging domestic non-atomic power sector, particularly industrial applications on radiological and medical sciences.
KIRAMS President Kim Chong-soon said in a recent interview with NewsWorld, "KIRAMS sets its sights on focusing on the treatment and research on neuroscience, liver and disease related to the elderly, beyond its mainstay job concerning cancers as well as contribution to the development of radiological and medical industries."KIRAMS aims to invigorate the treatment and research of several medical fields beyond cancer, developing an infrastructure for the development of the radiological industry as well as step up the research on radiation's effects on human bodies and safety and preparedness for radiation emergencies, Kim said.
KIRAMS President Kim stressed, "We are doing our utmost to nurture the domestic radiological and medical industries, as a new growth engine industry of the future, departing from its dependence on foreign imports by grafting a combination of radiological technology and bio technology."In reality, the domestic non-nuclear power industry is still in the immature stage, compared to such global atomic energy powerhouses as the United States, France, Japan, Russia and UK, which have advanced the development of radiological and medical uses of atomic energy.
The United States has some 120 nuclear power units in operation, but the non-nuclear power sector has a 70 percent portion with tremendous strides. Japan's ratio of the nuclear power sector to the non-power field is 70 percent to 30 percent. On the other hand, Korea has grown into a global power house with 20 nuclear units in operation to rank fifth in the world. But the nation places approximately 30th in the global ranking
of the development of the non-nuclear power sector. Korea aims to make massive investments with the goal of raising the portion of the non-power sector from the current 10 percent to 30 percent, equivalent to the levels of Japan, by the year 2015, KIRAMS President Kim said.
In 1962, The institute was established as Radiation Medicine Research Lab (RMRL) with the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), modeled after similar entities of advanced countries, including the National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS). In 1973, the RMRL was revamped as Korea Cancer Center Hospital, an affiliate of KAERI, before being reorganized as the current name, Korea Institute of Radiological and Medical Sciences (KIRAMS) under control of the Ministry of Science and Technology for the purpose of honoring a new commitment of developing the domestic non-nuclear power sector.
KIRAMS with a staff of 1,000 employees is composed of Korea Cancer Center Hospital, Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Center and National Radiation Emergency Medical Center.
Korea Cancer Center Hospital provides medical services for cancer patients. The hospital with 21 clinical departments is equipped with 507 beds.
Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Center
is charged with research on cyclotron development and radioisotope (RI) applications - development of 13-MeV cyclotron for PET, 30-MeV cyclotron for research and RI mass production, image-enhancing agents for nuclear medicine, new labeling technologies and tumor diagnosis methods and nuclear molecular imaging method using RI's-; research on radiation biology, high- and low-dose radiation effects on human body, biodosimetry with the utilization of cytogenesis, pathogenesis as a result of irradiation, functional recovery of an impaired body system by using tissue engineering, and medical care protocol for improving survival of high-dose radiation exposure-;
and research on radiation oncology, elucidation of the molecular mechanism of a radio-resistance, radiation effects on tumor cell metastasis, generation and actions of reactive oxygen species and minimization of the side-effects of radiotherapy.
From the 1,000 staff members, 800 employees work for the cancer center hospital and the remainder 200 are with the R&D sector.
KIRAMS is striving to give more weight on the R&D sector, departing from its focus on health care and diagnosis of cancer patients, President Kim said.
KIRAMS has already gained in the radiological and medical science sector as it operated the nation's first cobalt treatment equipment in December 1963,; MC-50 medical cyclotron, NT-50 neutron therapy system and MM-22 medical microtone in the first time in Korea in November 1986,; and started producing short-lived medical radioisotopes (Ga-67, TI-201, In-111, I-123) for the first time in Korea using the MC-50 medical system in March 1989.
The institute also opened Korea's first CyberKnife, which treats tumors with intelligent robotic radio surgery system; continuously tracks, detects and corrects for tumor and patient movement throughout the treatment, and delivers treatments with sub-millimeter accuracy, minimizing damages to surrounding healthy tissue.
A medical doctor that also has a major in accounting, KIRAMS President Kim has been spearheading a program for training doctors from developing countries, being organized by KIRAMS at the request of such international organizations as WHO and IAEA for the past few years.
KIRAMS is operated with a budget of approximately 200 billion won - 170 billion won in revenues from Korea Cancer Center Hospital and 30 billion in subsidies from the MOST. nw


Korea Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences (KIRAMS) is a pioneer in radiation and health in Korea. (right photo) KIRAMS President Kim Chong-soon.

KIRAMS offers an annual program for training doctors from developing countries.

KIRAMS is now shifting its focus on research on the development of the domestic radiological and medical industries.

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