Supply of a gamma irradiator for CERN

Implementation Period
Client/Contracting Authority
European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), Switzerland
Location/End User
European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), Switzerland

In September 2013, VF won a tender for the supply of a gamma irradiator to CERN, Switzerland. In spite of the interest in other well-established companies from Switzerland, Germany and France, VF best fit the specific CERN requirements for the new GIF++ gamma irradiation facility located in the French part of CERN. The supply consists of the delivery, installation and commissioning of a Cs-137 Gamma Irradiator, and its maintenance, dismantling and disposal at the end of its lifecycle. A set of three VF dose rate monitors and a console to control the functionality of the irradiator are also supplied.
GIF++ is a new gamma irradiation facility combined with a high-energy particle beam that will be built at CERN. The facility was designed in accordance with the demands of the LHC’s (Large Hadron Collider – the world's largest and most powerful particle accelerator) experiments and other potential users. The GIF++ will also be used for testing the response of sLHC (super LHC) muon detectors in a severe high gamma background environment. The variety of detectors and equipment being tested in the GIF++ gamma irradiation facility is expected to be quite extensive, from detectors for the sLHC, as well as more specialised devices, such as radiation monitors, dosimeters or samples of materials. The GIF++ has the dimensions of approximately 170 m2, with a total height of about 4 m. It can host very large objects with dimensions of several square metres and allows flexible positioning at various distances to simulate the desired background rates. 
The VF manufactured Cs-137 gamma irradiator of GIF++ provides uniform gamma irradiation on a vertical surface of approx. 7.5 m wide by 4 m high at a distance of 5 m through the front of the irradiator. A secondary collimator located in the opposite direction provides a spherically non-corrected point of approx. 2.6 m at a distance of 7 m. Ceiling clearance will be at least 4 m everywhere inside the bunker.

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