Universal Journal of Physics and Application Vol. 12(3), pp. 47 - 51
DOI: 10.13189/ujpa.2018.120303
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Gamma Irradiator Technology: Challenges and Future Prospects

Anil Kumar Kohli 1,2,*
1 Raja Ramanna Fellow & Formerly Chief Executive, Board of Radiation and Isotope Technology, India
2 Anushakti Bhavan, CSM Marg, Department of Atomic Energy, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India


The gamma irradiator technology has served the radiation processing industry very well. It has continued to progress despite number of challenges it has faced. Number of improvements in safety features helped it to quell the earlier challenges. Later 60Co shortages and accelerator based X-ray systems becoming more competitive, considerably halted growth of gamma irradiators. But higher running expenditure, non-availability of appropriate irradiation volumes and reliable power supply at places particularly in rural areas did not make them as an automatic choice. The recent challenge due to heightened security concerns because of presence of intense 60Co radioactive sources in gamma irradiators is quite daunting. Possibility of theft, or attack on gamma irradiator itself or transport container and high decommissioning costs for return of sources to the supplier for safe disposal is making it difficult for gamma irradiator technology to compete. Due to some inherent advantages, X-ray based technology has made the road ahead tough for gamma irradiator technology. However, X-ray system's lower efficiency of conversion of energy to electromagnetic radiation, its higher maintenance costs and its huge dependence on availability of economic and reliable power supply will eventually decide the time at which it replaces the gamma irradiator technology fully in any part of the world.

Bulk Irradiation, 60Co Shortages, Contamination, Decommissioning, Safety Improvements, Security Considerations

Cite this paper
Anil Kumar Kohli . "Gamma Irradiator Technology: Challenges and Future Prospects." Universal Journal of Physics and Application 12.3 (2018) 47 - 51. doi: 10.13189/ujpa.2018.120303.