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   1.  Introduction
With the rapid economic development in China, the requirement of Cobalt-60 irradiator especially big-scale irradiator is increasing quickly. Before 2000, most irradiators were static irradiators, and the loading Co-60 capacity was less than 1.11×1016 Bq (0.3MCi), but now they are not suitable for the current situation. In this case, we started to research and design SQ(H)-type industrialγirradiator which is a big-scale irradiator of safety, good-efficiency and multi-function in 2001, comprehensively considering on the development trend of international radiation processing and China’s special case, we made many innovations, did many experiments and tests, at last we completed the design successfully, and got 6 patents.
Due to the original design, stability performance and safety, SQ(H)-type industrial γirradiator has been accepted by many customers in China. Now, seven irradiators have been constructed and are operating well in China, other four irradiators are under construction. The total loading capacity of above irradiators is up to 8.7×1017 Bq (23.5 MCi).
The radiation processing company that equips the SQ(H)-type industrial γirradiator is very easy to get the TUV and FDA certificates. Many specialists of radiation processing gave very high comments after visiting the Suzhou CNNC irradiation Co., Ltd. The SQ(H)-type industrialγirradiator has proved to be fit for the radiation processing well.
The following will introduce the facility benefits, detailed performance and design features.

2.  Facility benefits
2.1   Safety first and low investmen
The shielding design adopt the point kernel method shielding calculation program and “Monte Carlo” program which recommended by the ICRP, concrete is used for shielding material, the radiation protection is efficient and the cost is low.The safety system conforms to or some even above and beyond the IAEA series 107 and series 115.
2.2  Good energy utilization efficiency and low mechanical failure rate
The energy utilization efficiency can be up to 35% - 40% with the density above 0.2 g/cm3.
The key parts are high quality and high standard, so as to ensure the system failure is lower than 1%.
The system can no need to stop when some minor failures happen, so the operating time can reaches 8,000 hours or more per year.
2.3  High automatic and low operating cost
Advanced automatic loading and unloading stations enhance the working efficiency and reduce the labor requirement. And the products can be layer changed automatically outside the irradiation room and face changed automatically in the irradiation room.
Controlled by the program and managed by the network can reduce the human factor and enhance the uniformity quality, and reduce labor also, so the operating cost is low.
2.4  Large throughput and high treating speed
Good efficiency and uniformity of absorbed dose, large loading source capacity so the throughput is large. The source pass use pneumatic cylinders, so the treating speed is very high.
2.5  Individuation design
For special area and market, we will do individuation design so as to optimize the irradiator. For example, totes can be designed to meet virtually requirements of customer after considering the product weight, dose uniformity rate and cobalt-60 utilization rate.
2.6  Various and flexible operating models
According to the requirement of customer, the irradiator can realize many operating model, and is very easy to change one model to another model.
2.7  Friendly interface and good stability of software and control system
Information management systems and PLC control system control the irradiator operation. All interface of software is friendly and easy for operating, and displays are graphic.

3.  Performance
3.1  Large loading Co-60 capacity
There are several fixed standard irradiators: 1MCi(37PBq), 1.5MCi(55.5 PBq), 2MCi(74 PBq), 3MCi(111 PBq) and 5MCi (185PBq). And we can design bigger irradiators also. It is big enough for the industrial production.
3.2  High energy utilization efficiency
The energy utilization efficiency of this irradiator is very high. See the Fig. 1.
3.3  Good dose uniformity ratio (DUR)
We made many efforts to reduce the DUR. See the Fig. 2.

 

3.4  Large processing capacity
Based on the high energy utilization efficiency and good dose uniformity ratio, the processing capacity is very large. Fig. 3 and Fig.4 show volume and mass throughput respectively.

 

                    

3.5 Wide range of product density
As the foregoing performance, the irradiator can treat products with density from 0.1g/cm3 to 0.4g/cm3, even can treat higher density products by reducing the loading width.
3.6  Automatic layer-change and face-change
There are several different types of automatic layer change stations for different requirements, and all run very smoothly and quickly.
3.7 Safety system
Redundant safety interlock systems supply the hardware guaranty to the safety, there are more than 20 devices or systems for safety. Such as photoelectric, pull cable switch, dose monitor, source hoist chain and so on.
3.8 Multi-function
The irradiator can treat the products that need different absorbed dose, the irradiator can treat the low dose products by passing the outer passes of the source pass, and treat the frozen products by passing the inner passes of the source pass so as to shorten the treating time.

4. Design features
4.1  Source rack
The source rack is flat and mutli-doors, the structure is simple, the loading source capacity is large, and it is very easy for loading and unloading the source, especially easy for re-arrange the source. The source pencil is vertical in the rack.
Loading source directly, and there is not any else coating outside the source, so it is good for the energy efficiency.
The source hoist mechanism adopts hydraulic power, and the source rack can move smoothly. And in case of power failure the rack will automatically move to the safety position in the storage pool.
4.2 Products convey system
Products convey system combines electrical suspension chain conveyor and pneumatic source pass mechanism masterly. And the carriers in the irradiation room change face by movement but not rotation, so the total conveyor system operates safely and reliably.
The system is full of creative and technical, it can realize several different operating models. Source pass mechanical can realize the operation of 6-pass, inner 4-pass and outer 2-pass automatically, and the inner 2 passes are very near to the source and the nearby two passes are also very close to each other.
The system can treat different doses and products at the same time by batch technology, and the carriers that loading different products can go in and go out the irradiation room automatically by the program control.
4.3 Automatic loading/unloading system
There are two elevators for carrier loading, carrier unloading and layer-change, the storage conveyor system connecting the warehouse and these two elevators are used for conveying the totes. The layer-change occurs outside of the irradiation room, so it’s no need to stop the whole system when there are some minor failures in the layer-change mechanism.
4.4 Computer control system and network administration system
PLC controls the whole system, industrial computer monitor the process. The computer can collect and save the process information, operation information, faults, safety information and other useful information in real time. These information can be viewed and printed, and can be sent to other management computer by network.
On the control console, there are many signals which indicating the status and a mimic indicating the whole operation status.
The computer supplies a friendly interface to the operators, and it is very convenient and simple for operation.
4.5  Bar code system
Bar code system consists of bar code, fixed bar code detectors and handle bar code scanner. After loading, the scanner scans the bar code of the tote and records the loading information including products’ name, date and so on, then the tote goes in for irradiation, the detectors will detect the bar code and record the time when the tote go in and go out the irradiation room. So this system can record and trace the products information in real time, ensure the good traceability for the customers.
4.6  Industrial video monitor system
The video monitor system consists of a television and several monitors which locating in the irradiation room, handling room, main control room and warehouse. The management can monitor these places in real time. In the irradiation room, the camera head is retractable and radioresistant, and there is stainless steel mirror for catoptric imaging, so the service life of the camera head is longer.