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Vinagamma radiation center uses high tech to treat toxic waste, emissions

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The Ministry of Science amp; Technology (MST) 20 years ago approved the establishment of the first radiation technology application center in the south – Vingamma - which later gained significant achievements.

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Set up in 1998, the foundation of Vingamma was based on the preliminary research at the Da Lat Reactor in the 1980s. It received a group of officers from Da Lat Reactor and an industrial radiation machine Co-60 SVST-Co60/B imported from Hungary under IAEA’s (International Atomic Energy Agency) technology transfer project, valued at VND6.7 billion.

However, the center needed much more to operate. It was estimated that the initial investment capital was about $1.4 million. The leaders of Vinatom decided to borrow money to ‘do big’. 

This was a daring decision at that time, especially when the Hanoi Radiation Center, another unit of Vinatom in the north, was not operating well because of the lack of goods for radiation. 

However, Vinatom (Vietnam Atomic Energy Institute) managed to borrow VND8 billion from the Development Assistance Fund (DAF) at the interest rate of 1.1 percent per month, and borrowed VND3.5 billion at 0.81 percent per month. 

With the loans, equipment was bought and installed in HCM City, while a group of technicians was sent to Hungary to practice for one month to operate the machine.

After two years of providing radiation services, Vinagamma paid VND15.1 billion in principal and interest to DAF and MST VND4.7 billion.

Vinagamma has become one of the most effective units of Vinatom. The 78 workers of the center now generate revenue of VND65 billion.

With the government’s Decree 115 establishing autonomy for a state-owned scientific institution in 2005, Vinagamma has the right to cooperate with other units and invest in research. 

The center borrowed VND5 billion from Nafosted Fund and mobilized VND5 billion from officers to buy radioactive sources.

With the capital, Vinagamma kicked off an expansion plan, buying a UELR-10-15S2 electron beam accelerator, valued at VND47.5 billion. 

Vinatom’s  head Tran Chi Thanh said this helped Vinagamma go out of a ‘safe zone’ to master equipment using higher technology. The machine can help treat hazardous waste, such as dioxin, eliminate toxic emissions in coal-fired plant’s smoke, and develop new materials.

Vinagamma is also working with enterprises to take a further step in technology development – making pharmaceuticals.



Source: VietNamNet

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