U.S. manufacturers have contended for decades that traceability to national standards for industrial irradiation applications is best achieved by services based on national laboratory facilities that are representative of the industrial setting.
The foundation for validation and process control in irradiation applications is the measurement of absorbed dose and improvements to measurement quality can only come from understanding and controlling the influence quantities (i.e., time, temperature and environmental factors) that are ever present in the industrial setting. The proposed Applied Irradiation Manufacturing Standards (AIMS) facility will be based on an existing 17 kW, 10 MeV Titan electron beam accelerator of the type used by industrial irradiation processors. Phase I of the project is design. To best simulate industrial conditions, the facility will include a conveyer system to cycle dosimeters and simulated product through the electron beam according to industrial practices. Due to the high power of this accelerator, radiation shielding design is critical, particularly since the control area will also be housed in the vicinity of the accelerator vault. Computer simulations and consultation with industry experts will ensure the adequacy and safety of the shielding design. A broad range of industries will benefit from the AIMS facility, including healthcare, aerospace/defense, electronics, food, auto parts, construction materials, and environmental remediation. The refined standards and services that arise from this facility will support advances in U.S. manufacturing that will encourage new technologies and expansion into new markets. Efforts are underway in parallel to make necessary modifications to the accelerator and the facility as well as establish a dedicated dosimetry laboratory.