Mangalore University Collaborates With BARC for Thoron Mitigation System

Mangalore University Collaborates With BARC for Thoron Mitigation System

Mangalore University has developed a thoron mitigation system in partnership with BARC Mumbai as per an MoU for collaborative research programmes. Development of a cheap and simple activated charcoal-based mitigation system finds immense applications in continuous removal of thoron and radon that are radioactive gases. These will emerge from off-gas streams of uranium and thorium processing facilities.

The new system has numerous benefits as compared to conventional systems for continuous removal of radon and thoron from air in industrial workplaces. Spin-off applications of such systems include remediation of radon and thoron problem in mining and processing industries, site remediation and reduction of personal radiation exposures caused due to radon and thoron.

Another important potential application is in the recovery and isolation of radioactive Xenon and Krypton gases in the workplace. A team of scientists led by N. Karunakara of the Radioecology Research Laboratory University Science Instrumentation Centre, Mangalore University has come up with the design and fabrication of the system.

BARC has provided important support in theoretical calculation and calibration of the system as well. Scientists of Mangalore University have carried out experiments on radon and thoron absorption efficiencies of charcoal as well as holding capacity, degassing characteristics and fabrication of prototype mitigation system.

The radioecology research lab of the University Science Instrumentation Centre, Mangalore University is involved in considerable research in frontline areas such as radiation protection and radioecology for the past 20 years. BARC has provided funding for the MoU research programme. Scientists involved from BARC for the development of the system are D. N. Sharma, Director, Health Safety and Environment Division. Also on the team were scientists Y. S. Mayya, B. K. Sapra and B. Sahoo. Technology and prototype systems are also in the process of being transferred to BARC.

In a statement issued by Karunakara to Times of India, the high end technology is unique and the first one of its kind. Karunakara has been quoted as saying “it finds its application in nuclear facilities” which are “critical to India's nuclear generation programme”. This is the first indigenous system for technology. The prototype system will be formally transferred to BARC scientists on July 18.

Mangalore University has collaborated with Mumbai based BARC to develop the Thoron Mitigation System under the memorandum of understanding for research programmes that are collaborative. Development of simple and cheap systems such as these are good for scientific progress in formulation of future technologies as well. With the latest scientific achievement, Mangalore University and BARC have taken a giant step for the advancement of the Indian scientific community.
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