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Chinese scientists develop device that will inactivate coronavirus with radiation

Chinese researchers have developed a set of equipment that could inactivate coronavirus with electron beam irradiation.

The technology has passed an expert panel review and is set to be applied in cold chain food packaging disinfection, informed in a press conference held in south China’s Shenzhen City.

China General Nuclear Power Corporation, Tsinghua University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen National Clinical Research Center for Infectious Diseases and the Third People’s Hospital of Shenzhen were involved in the project, the Xinhua news agency reported.




The experimental results of 11 batches and 190 samples by March 10 showed that the absorption dose of 5 to 10 kGy electron beams can completely kill the living coronavirus on a paper surface.

“The electron beam energy is low, and the penetration ability of paper products is only about 0.3 mm. It mainly disinfects the outer packaging of cold chain food, and will not affect the food and the environment of the equipment operation site,” said Zhang Zimin, director of the Electron accelerator research center at the Institute of Modern Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Zhang said that the equipment covers an area of no more than 40 square meters, and it can be directly deployed by customs, ports, warehouses and other places that need to disinfect cold chain food packaging.



The news comes on the same day when a top Chinese medical expert said on Wednesday there was no factual basis to accusations that China did not share data with international researchers appointed by the World Health Organization to look into the origins of COVID-19.

But Liang Wannian, who was co-leader of the joint study, told reporters that researchers from both sides had access to the same data throughout the investigation and that the assertions about lack of access were not accurate.

“Of course, according to Chinese law, some data cannot be taken away or photographed, but when we were analysing it together in Wuhan, everyone could see the database, the materials – it was all done together,” he said.

Responding to allegations that the expert panel did not have access to complete datasets and samples, Liang said no scientist ever had perfect information.

He also rejected complaints that the publication of the report had been repeatedly delayed, noting that “every sentence, every conclusion, every piece of data” needed to be verified by both sides before it could be released.