Russia launches new irradiation technologies centre

1 April 2021

Russia's largest regional centre for irradiation technologies is ready for commissioning at production association Mayak in Ozersk, Chelyabinsk Region, Mayak noted on 30 March. A permit for commissioning the Centre for Irradiation Technologies (ERA) has already been received, sources of ionising radiation have been loaded and technological tests have been carried out. Also, a health and epidemiological report has been completed noting full compliance of the future facility with efficiency and safety standards.

The new high-tech enterprise will process medical products, such as surgical kits and personal protective equipment, as well as raw materials for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries using cold sterilisation. The advanced technology underlying the production meets the most modern environmental standards, moreover, in contrast to traditional chemical and temperature methods, it makes possible the sterilisation of materials in packaging.

“Currently, negotiations are underway with potential customers, the range of which is extremely wide. We see that the market demand for the processing of materials by cold sterilisation exceeds that initially set in the business plan, therefore we forecast full capacity utilisation in the near future,” noted the general director of the enterprise, Rodion Ermolaev.

Sterilisation is carried out using industrial gamma plant equipped with cobalt-60 sources. The RTU-3000 unit was developed by specialists from the Scientific Research Institute of Technical Physics and Automation, which is part of Rosatom. One of the goals of the project is to expand the range of services provided by the Mayak production association and further develop competencies in the field of processing various products on an industrial scale at gamma plants.

“We are very pleased that more and more innovative industries based on advanced research by domestic scientists and engineers are choosing Rosatom's priority socioeconomic development areas (PSEDAs) as a tool to reduce the risks of the investment period and subsequently reduce costs,” commented Nikolay Pegin, Atom-TOR General Director. Atom-TOR is the management company for PSEDAs, which was established in former closed cities which host Rosatom facilities. Atom-TOR manages eight PSEDAs: Zheleznogorsk (Krasnoyarsk Territory), Zarechny (Penza Region), Lesnoy and Novouralsk (both in Sverdlovsk Region), Ozersk and Snezhinsk (both in Chelyabinsk Region), Sarov (Nizhniy Novgorod Region), and Seversk (Tomsk Region). Since 2014, Rosatom jointly with Russian federal regions and municipalities has been creating priority development areas in nuclear industry host cities. 

Mayak's investments in the ERA project amounted to about RUB260 million ($3.4m) and ERA will additionally spend more than RUB20 million on development of the centre, creating 32 new jobs. The company has already started recruiting and training personnel. 

Mayak is an enterprise of the Russian nuclear weapons complex and part of Rosatom. Its site includes reactor, radiochemical, chemical-metallurgical, radioisotope and instrument-making production facilities. The priority areas of the enterprise's activity are the fulfilment of a defence order, used fuel reprocessing, and the production of radioactive isotopes.

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