Webserver Date: 22-August-2019


VIKIRAN: The first Radiation Processing Plant in Private Sector


VIKIRAN, the first Radiation Processing Plant of Eastern Region promoted by the Organic Green Foods Ltd. (OGFL) was inaugurated by Dr. Anil Kakodkar, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission on August 21, 2004, at a function held at the plant situated at Dankuni, 25 km away from central Kolkata. Shri Somnath Chatterjee, Honourable Speaker, Lok Sabha, was the Chief Guest. The Guests of Honour, among other dignitaries, included Shri Mrinal Banerjee, Minister of Power, West Bengal, Shri Amar Chowdhury, Honourable Minister of Public Works, West Bengal, Shri Gopalkrishna, Managing Director, West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation.


The function was held at VIKIRAN, the Radiation Processing Plant of OGFL belonging to the Sureka Group of Industries. Shri Vijay Shankar Sureka and Shri Sanjay Sureka received the guests at the verdant Dankuni site, heralding the beginning of a partnership between DAE and Concast Group. In his inaugural speech Dr. Anil Kakodkar drew attention to the mandate given to DAE -- to use all applications arising out of the deployment of nuclear energy for the development process of our country. Radiation technology is fast becoming the major component in the peaceful applications of atomic energy, in a variety of areas like healthcare, food and agriculture, industrial technology and several other emerging areas like sewage treatment and environmental management. “ Our endeavour is to demonstrate the technology on a sizeable scale so that others can test the viability of the technology concerned” added Dr. Kakodkar.


In an inspiring speech Shri Somnath Chatterjee congratulated the Sureka Group, DAE and the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation for the spirit in which they worked together to bring this technology to a reality. “ I am happy to know that the technology is the product of the research of Indian scientists”, he remarked. Now that the plant has been set up, it can be of great use to sterilize common items of public consumption like food, pharmaceuticals and other similar products, he said. “ My sincere good wishes go towards this wonderful initiative and hope this would become an example to others” he concluded.


Indigenously developed Cobalt-60 Tele-therapy Machine


Tele-therapy machines are used to eliminate or shrink localized cancers in human tissues. To meet the growing need of such machines in the country, BARC has taken up their development. The development of the first indigenous machine has been completed. The machine is installed at the Clinical Research Centre of Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer, Navi Mumbai.


It is a state-of-the-art machine incorporating the latest concepts in safety, controls and user interface. Fully closable collimator for improved radiation safety is a unique feature of the machine. The machine incorporates world-class features such as, 200 RMM Cobalt-60 source capacity, fully computer controlled, minimum couch height, and noise free movements at par with any imported machine of similar category. In addition, the machine has lower penumbra for better beam quality, total digital controls with self-calibration of motors and controls, single cable communication between machine and control console, computer controlled couch and total treatment data acquisition and data analysis.


The cost of the indigenous machine is significantly lower than imported machines of similar capacity. With this development, smaller hospitals in rural areas also can afford a tele-therapy machine for cancer treatment. It is expected that this development will results in reduction in treatment cost for cancer patients. To make India a developed country in cancer care, the vision of indigenisation should be to have at least one hospital in each district of the country with full-fledged cancer treatment facility.


The machine has features for safe storage of radioactive source inside a shielded shell, translating the source from storage position to exposed position and building up of collimated beam of radiation to be incident on the cancerous tissue. The machine consists of Source, Source Drawer, Collimator, Radiation Head, Gantry, Main Frame, Couch, and Control System with User Interface.


Source: 20 mm diameter Cobalt-60 source will be used for treatment. The machine has capacity to load 200 RMM source.


Source Drawer: A pneumatically driven source drawer is used for moving the source between shielded position and treatment position. The pneumatic cylinder will return the source automatically to radiation-off position in case of any failure.


Collimator: The size of the radiation beam is controlled by the collimator assembly. Two pairs of motorised uranium jaws generate rectangular field of required size. The collimator can also be rotated around the radiation beam axis. The radiation field can be visualized by a high intensify light. The centre of the radiation field is shown by the collimator cross hairs. The source to skin distance is shown by an optical distance indicator. Two sets of trimmers are provided to decrease the penumbra of the beam. The lower pad of the collimator is prepared to receive wedge filters and shadow tray for the beam shaping lead blocks. In case of any emergency, the collimator gets closed automatically and this movement is supported by an internal battery.


Radiation Head: The radiation head has uranium and lead shielding encased in a welded steel structure. The source drawer and collimator aremounted on the radiation head.


Gantry: The radiation head and its counter weight are mounted on the gantry. The gantry can be rotated about a horizontal axis by ± 180°.


Main Frame: It support gantry and houses gantry drive, control hardware, etc.


Couch: This is the table on which the patient lies down for treatment. It consists of a turntable mounted eccentrically with the isocentre to support another system of tables providing isocentric rotation, vertical travel, longitudinal travel and lateral travel to the patient for positioning the cancerous tissue. The table top is made up of carbon fibre material.


Control System: The control system is fully computerized with self learning technology. Interaction between the operator and the unit is achieved through a computer monitor, keyboard and mouse. Data on every treatment are registered on the computer’s hard disk and may be retrieved for control purposes. A separate panel is provided on the couch for couch motion control. The necessary interlocks and corrective actions for radiation safety are also provided by the control system along with emergency switches.


For further details please contact:


Head,Division of Remote Handling & Robotics
BARC,Trombay, Mumbai 400 085
Phone no. : 25505363,2559 2545
Fax: +91 22 2550 5151,
+ 91 22 2551 9613