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Applications of LabVIEW Programming in a Glovebox Environment
When dealing with neutron radiation one of the keys to reducing worker exposure is to
: have as much distance and shielding between the radiation and the radiation worker as
possible. Using a PC to control a process from a remote location allows the distance
between the radiation worker and the radiation source to be increase. Increasing the
distance at which radiation worker can control a process allows more shielding to be placed
around the glovebox.
There are many commercial packages that allow controlling remote processes with a PC.
This paper shows how flexible the LabVIEW Graphical Programming Language can be in
implementing the remote control of glovebox process
In dealing with radiation, especially neutron radiation, a key component of compliance with
the doctrine of "As Low As Reasonably Achievable" (ALARA), is putting as much distance
as possible between the radiation worker and the source of radiation. The Nuclear Materiel
Technology Group Two (NMT-2) at Los Alamos National Labs has had success at
implementing remote control of glovebox processes using LabVIEW Graphical
Programming for Instrumentation (LabVIEW) from National Instruments (NI). This paper
provides a brief description of some applications in which LabVIEW has been successfully
The choice of LabVIEW as the control platform has evolved as the program has proven its
utility. Initially LabVIEW was chosen because of the simplicity with which it could be
implemented, however, it has proven to be a powerful development tool. LabVIEW takes
a different approach to desktop process control, because, it is a compiled, general purpose
language designed to be interfaced with laboratory instruments. This makes LabVIEW
closer in concept, and what it can accomplish, to a compiled text based language like C, or
Basic (modern compiled Basic that is). NI pioneered the use of a Graphical User Interface
(GUI) for instrumentation with the introduction of LabVIEW in 1984 and it has influenced
many of the process control packages developed since then. The use of LabVIEW has
allowed fast, innovative use of equipment in the glovebox environment.
NEUTRON SOURCE DECLADDER
The mission of NMT-2 is reducing the nations nuclear danger. Part of this mission has
been the decladding of neutron sources to recover the nuclear materials. These sources
have a bi-metal core of beryllium and a radioactive materiel, primarily Pu 239, Am 241 and
sometimes Pu 238 (See Fig 1). These sources were made for research and industrial uses
(some industrial uses are for determining the amount of oil in wells or the amount of
moisture in the soil). When the sources are no longer needed, or they exceed their 20 year
life, the sources must be disposed of by recovering the nuclear materiel.
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Evans, M. E.; Peralta, G. & Gray, D. Applications of LabVIEW programming in a glovebox environment, article, September 1, 1995; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627334/m1/3/: accessed November 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.