Industrial Accelerators Section
10 MeV, 10 kW Linac
installed at RRCAT
Agricultural Radiation Processing Facility
agricultural products are treated with ionizing radiation to accomplish
different objectives like reduction of pathogenic bacteria and parasites that
cause food borne diseases; or lengthening the shelf-life of fresh fruits,
vegetables by decreasing the normal biological changes associated with growth
and maturation processes, such as ripening or sprouting. Radiation processing of
food has become important due to mounting concern over food born diseases, and
growing international trade in food products that must meet stiff import
standards of quality and quarantine.
A 10 MeV,
10 kW Linear accelerator based electron beam radiation processing facility is
being set up at RRCAT. The Linac has been developed by RF Section. For more
details, refer to webpage of RF Section. ARPF is planned to be a demonstration
facility where apart from regular radiation processing of agricultural and
medical products, various issues like proper irradiation techniques, packing,
handling and storage on large scale and economics of radiation processing will
be studied and optimized. The facility will be operated in electron (10 MeV) as
well as photon mode (5 & 7.5 MV).
electron beam will be scanned in a vacuum chamber to obtain 1.2 m wide radiation
field. The product handling system is designed to process the products in
different packing size with thickness varying from 8 cm to 45 cm and to deliver
dose from 60 Gy to 25 kGy. Typical mass throughputs are 22 tons per hour for
potatoes (5 MV Photon mode) and1.8 tons per hour for spices (10 MeV electron
mode). The conveyor has speed range of 0.15 m/min to 15 m/min. The facility has
various safety interlocks to ensure safe operation. A computer based control
system is designed for the facility to ensure proper processing of the product.
experimental product handling system has been made to conduct various
experimental trials on different products for establishing parameters.