Isotope Application Services

Isotope application services offer innovative techniques to asses, monitor & improve the health of the process plants which is helpful to maintain better productivity, efficiency & safety as well as to take important decisions regarding shutdown, troubleshooting & optimization which delivers huge economic benefits.

Major Sectors

  • Oil refineries & petrochemical plants
  • Onshore & offshore oil production wells
  • Heavy engineering, Construction & manufacturing units
  • Thermal power plants
  • Dam, ports & harbours

Major Clients

Techniques used

Gamma Scanning

Trayed & Packed bed columns (Distillation & absorber columns)

Gamma scanning provide valuable information about mechanical integrity & hydraulic conditions of the column when the system is in operating condition. This technique provides better picture on tray damages, missing trays, down comer condition, liquid level on tray, flooding, entrainment, foaming, weeping, packed bed channelling, liquid distribution over packed bed, coke deposition, liquid distributor condition and any other blockages or damages. Gamma scanning interpretations helps to reduce downtime, maintenance and repair costs as well as to maintain inventory.

It is recommended to scan the column when it is in good mechanical condition and there are no any process related issues. This scan can be kept as reference scan of the column which can be helpful to diagnose future abnormalities and troubleshooting of the column.

FCCU Cyclones, Reactor & Riser

Any internal damages, catalyst powder blockage, leakages in the cyclone body, density profile of the catalyst powder in regenerator and reactor, powder accumulation near slide valves of fluidized catalytic cracking units can be obtained by gamma scanning. It can help to reduce the catalyst losses and to protect the environment from pollution.

Pipes & Bends

Blockages, vapor locks and liquid-vapor interface can be identified using scanning technique. Thickness loss due to corrosion, scaling, fouling etc. can be easily identified in the pipelines. Innovative PIG tracking technique can be used to locate blockages and stuck PIG inside the long run pipelines.

Tanks & Separators

Scanning of the tanks gives clear picture on liquid level indication, liquid-liquid interphase, liquid-vapor interphase, fluctuating interphases, inventory of hydrocarbon & water, plugged vents, sludge accumulation etc. This can help to manage inventory, process optimization and proper estimation of maintenance time & manpower. Oil-water separators in the refineries can be inspected for any mechanical damages in the separator plate, accumulation of water on oil side and oil on water side, extent of accumulation, interphase location, thickness of emulsion phase and any presence of foreign particles deposition

Radiotracer Techniques

Heat Exchanger Leaks

If a leak is suspected in a series of heat exchangers, radiotracer technique can be applied to identify the leaky one. BRIT’s self-developed radiotracer is injected into the system during operation and real time data can be obtained. Identification of leaky heat exchanger reduces maintenance cost and downtime of the plant. It helps to meet the standard product quality norms and it provides huge economic benefit to the organisation.

Underground Pipeline Leaks

Leakages in the underground pipelines can be pinpointed using radiotracer PIG method. It helps to prevent product loss and to avoid environment pollution.

FCCU Catalyst Loss Analysis

Flow dynamics of catalyst powder in FCCU, air distribution in regenerator, steam distribution in reactor, residence time of catalyst powder, riser performance etc. can be analysed using radiotracer application which improves the productivity of the plant.

Flow Rate Measurements

Flow rate can be measured using radiotracer technique in pipelines where flowmeters are not installed. Along with this, it is helpful to find out flow distribution in bifurcated pipelines and calibration of flowmeters.

RTD Analysis

Residence time distribution (RTD) analysis can be used to gain better understanding of flow dynamics inside a plant equipment. It provides valuable diagnostic data regarding malfunctions in a process plant. Type of flow, Channelling, Bypassing, Short-circuiting, Effective volumes Formation of stagnant or dead volumes and mixing time measurements can be done with the help of this technique.

Sediment Transport Study

Depth of navigation channels in ports and harbours is maintained by dredging sediment and dumping at suitable locations. Radiotracers help in selecting suitable dumping sites at optimum distances. After selecting suitable dumping site, the dredger travels less, thereby reducing the expenses by millions per year.

Finding Leakage in a Dam

Radiotracer method has been proved to be highly accurate and quick method to identify leak locations in dams and reservoirs. If any water loss is there due to leakage, the flow lines will be formed in the direction of leak. Our latest developed radiotracer travels through these flow lines and gets easily adsorbed on the soil matrix at the leakage spot. Using underwater radiation detection system, the exact location of the leakage spot can be identified.

Oil Reservoir Analysis

During secondary recovery of oil, radiotracers are used to study the flow dynamics of injected water i.e. direction of injected water flow, residence time, breakthrough time estimation, flow pattern to enhance the productivity of oil. For this purpose, a suitable radiotracer is injected in a water injection well. Samples are collected from the surrounding production wells in the reservoir. The samples are analysed after pre-treatment in auto-liquid scintillation counter. The results are interpreted to decide the reservoir characteristics and the water movement in the reservoir.

Fly Ash Disposal Study

Thermal power plants generate thousand tons of fly ash per day. Safe disposal of fly ash is a major issue as it contains several toxic chemical constituents which may pollute the environment. Heavy metals present in the fly ash may leach out to the surrounding surface and ground water which may be harmful for the people living in nearby villages. Radiotracer technique is helpful to understand the transport of heavy metals through surrounding topographical structure as well as to take decisions on fly ash disposal to a particular mine void.

Radiometry Technique


Radiation shielding objects can be assessed for its shielding integrity by radiometry technique. Any discontinuities like cavities, blow holes, voids can be located. Few of such objects are as follows:

  • Lead casks
  • Lead discs, plates & doors
  • Radiation source housing
  • Spent nuclear fuel storage canister
  • Concrete structures (Hot Cell)


Contact :

Vinay Bhave

       DGM, Projects-Vizag/RAPPCOF Exp.

Board of Radiation & Isotope Technology, BRIT/BARC Vashi Complex, Sector 20 Vashi, Navi Mumbai-400 703

(022) 27887312