PNRI to use gamma rays for inspecting containers

Monday, June 23, 2014 05:19 AM    Views : 1027by:GMA News Online

It's not quite X-ray vision but perhaps the next best thing, especially for helping speed up industrial inspections.
The Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) is now offering assistance to inspect "process vessels"—pressurized industrial containers for transporting everything from food to chemicals—using the more efficient Gamma Ray Column Scanning technology.
In a post on its website, the PNRI said the new technology is a more cost-efficient and safe way of seeing inside a process vessel "without interrupting normal plant operations."
"Process columns are critical components in industries where separation of components to extract or refine raw materials is undertaken such as the case in petroleum products and fertilizer manufacturing plants," it said.
Should components malfunction, there could be a "waste of materials or loss of resources or even worse, to emergency total shutdown of operation."
"These in turn would mean significant financial loss to the industry and, depending on the nature of the product, could affect the economy," it said.
With Gamma Ray Column Scanning Technology (Column Scanning) using a gamma-ray emitting radioactive source, the PNRI said it can get significant information on the condition of the process and vessel.
It can detect conditions like as damaged or missing trays and their positions, extent of flooding and its location, liquid weeping and foaming, liquid levels, and blockages.
"Because gamma-ray column scanning provides real-time information and uses a sealed radioactive material that is not affected by environmental conditions, it provides advantages in troubleshooting procedures," PNRI said.
Also, it said the process is non-destructive and cost efficient as there is no need for column preparation, removal of insulations and shutdown of operation during investigation.
"It also does not emit or produce any waste to the environment making it safe to use," it said. — Joel Locsin/TJD, GMA News


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