Modern Automation Technologies Professional Magazine


НаименованиеAutomating equipment for processing liquid radioactive wastes


Vitrifying liquid radioactive wastes to produce a chemically stable, hardened end product involves concentrating the liquid to a certain degree, mixing it with vitrifying additives, placing the prepared blend in a water-cooled induction melter, melting, pouring it into containers, heating the glass blocks in a furnace and removing for storage. Ventilation and gas filtering systems play an important role.

The equipment is comprised of about 150 controllable devices and provides for monitoring and control through some 200 analog and 250 discrete signals. The radiation requires that the equipment be hermetically and vacuum sealed. All this means that manual control of the devices is essentially impossible. To solve this problem, a dual-level automation system has been developed requiring the replacement of the SM1634 with a more advanced control system, although certain parts of the old system were retained.

The lower control level uses a MicroPC programmable, modular controller from Octagon Systems, which works on a standard IBM PC bus. The higher control level uses an IBM PC with the necessary peripherals.

The equipment can be run manually using the computer keyboard and mouse, with an "expert advisor" feature that prevents any incorrect action on the part of the operator. Automated control is also possible using the higher control level system, although control can be ceded to the operator at any moment.

The lower control level system receives signals from sensors, processes those signals and provides for the control and monitoring of the equipment's operation, analyzing changes in the operational parameters over time and comparing them to related parameters. The lower level's local system monitors and controls the equipment independently of the operator, who receives information indicating whether the equipment is running normally or is experiencing a problem.

The higher control level system performs a supervisory role, monitoring the lower level equipment, presenting operational information on a monitor in real time and building a database. This system also checks the operator's actions when the equipment is being run in manual mode.

Higher and lower levels systems are connected in a local Ethernet network. The equipment also provides for setting up an automatic process control system for managing the process at an enterprise.

The equipment is suitable for use at processing or chemical plants and could be used to replace obsolete produced equipment with a modern, automated system.

MicroPC-based control unit
for the heating furnace.

Operator's central control station.

By Ashot Aleksanyan, Natalya Vitik, Aleksandr Yermolayev,
Fyodor Lifanov, Vladimir Maslov, Viktor Semenov and Igor Sobolev

Ashot Aleksanyan,  Natalia Vitik,  Aleksandr Yermolayev,  Fedor Lifanov,  Vladimir Maslov,  Victor Semenov,  Igor Sobolev