The prompt gamma‐ray analysis (PGA) system installed in the Japan Research Reactor‐3 (JRR-3) was automated between 2012 and 2013. This automation is a good example of a large‐scale old analytical device automated in a nuclear facility. This automatic system has several useful functions, such as automatic sample exchange and analysis, automatic helium gas flow control and flow channel switching function, automatic neutron recording system, and fail‐safe function using Machine Vision, and the Internet. The analysis system was automated using a vertical revolute joint robot, control programs, and data acquisition devices. The main control software named AutoPGA was developed using LabVIEW and the program can control all functions of the automatic system, capable of analyzing up to 14 samples automatically. In the automation, the core of the PGA system was not modified and the extremely low background level of gamma rays was maintained well; however, the efficiency of routine measurements dramatically increased. Because the instruments used in the automatic PGA system are not unique, the basic design of the system can be easily applied to other large‐scale analytical devices.
Part of the book: Automation and Control Trends