White paper shines light on significance of irradiation

November 25, 2020, 12:00PMNuclear News

With input from the American Nuclear Society and other organizations, the International Irradiation Association has published a white paper summarizing all of the significant uses of radiation processing and the global economic, social, and environmental benefits that arise from the technologies. The nontechnical document, Uses and Applications of Radiation Processing, is aimed at people and organizations that are not familiar with radiation processing, highlighting how irradiation is routinely used in an array of diverse and beneficial applications.

“Though largely unknown by the public, radiation processing, or ‘irradiation,’ touches everyone’s life,” states the paper, which was released on November 24.

The 11-page white paper goes on to summarize the applications of radiation processing, including medical sterilization, food irradiation, wastewater treatment, and other uses. An overview of the different technologies used to irradiate materials, including gamma, electron beam, and X-ray sources, is also provided.

Regional summaries: Showcasing how radiation processing is used globally, the IAA paper provides regional summaries that provide insight into how the use of irradiation is delivering benefits to different parts of the world. For example, the paper explains how irradiation technology is being used to support major industries in Japan and South Korea by enabling the production of robust products without the use of chemicals, while Latin America and South Asia are benefiting from the sterilization of medical devices and food products.

“Phytosanitary irradiation is an important process that enables food products to be exported from Latin America,” the paper states. “Mexico is leading the way with the irradiation of large volumes of fruit, such as mangoes, various citrus fruits, guava, and peppers.”

Contributors: The following organizations provided support and regional input on the IAA paper:

  • American Nuclear Society
  • Latin American Association of Radiation Technologies
  • Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council
  • China Isotope and Radiation Association
  • National Association for Application of Radioisotopes and Radiation in Industry, India
  • Panel on Gamma and Electron Irradiation, United Kingdom

The IIA: The International Irradiation Association is a not-for-profit organization supporting the global irradiation industry and scientific community. Communication, education, and representation are key activities undertaken by the association.

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