Accelerator Radiation Safety Newsletter


(all articles are to be considered personal/professional in nature and do not reflect the opinions of the institutions described unless otherwise stated)


An Official Publication of the

Health Physics Society's Accelerator Section

Circulation: 493

First Quarter 2015 /
Volume 25, Number 1



The Newsletter Editor’s Message
Patrick B. Bragg


I would like to congratulate everyone for making this, my first newsletter, a tremendous learning experience.  Thank you to all the Accelerator Section officers and contributors for the article submissions.  Let’s keep building on this and make 2015 a great year.

The President’s Message

Steve Frey


Hi everyone, how did this winter treat you? Snow and frigid temperatures can be invigorating, but here in North East Pennsylvania, it was too much! In fact, February here was the coldest February since 1880. Even the Canada Geese went south.

Now for some enjoyable topics. That is, news, discoveries, and developments in the world of accelerators and particle physics since our last Newsletter.

First, a few 2015 HPS Annual Meeting items that involve our Section:

    In case you haven’t heard, our own Dr. Lorraine Day has won a Dade Moeller Lectureship! She will receive this award at the upcoming HPS Annual Meeting in Indianapolis and will give a presentation of a technical topic of her choosing. If you can, please be there for her well‑deserved recognition ceremony and her presentation.

    Next, our Section will be supporting the new Science Camp program at the upcoming HPS Annual Meeting. We are donating $300 to help launch this first installment of what is promising to be an annual meeting program. If any of you are interested in volunteering to help serve the Science Camp, please let me know.

    While recently looking for something new in the way of outreach for our Section to offer at the HPS Annual Meetings, we  made a first try at it by attempting to organize an informal sidewalk star viewing event for this year’s meeting in Indianapolis, on the basis that stars are particle accelerators, too. Unfortunately, our effort for this year likely will not pan out. However, we received plenty of encouragement to try again for next year’s annual meeting in Spokane. And so we shall!

Also,  our Section’s annual election of officers is on the horizon. This year, the open offices are  President‑Elect, Board Director, and Newsletter Editor. Dr. Rich Brey, a recent past President of our Section, is graciously handling the calling for candidates and running the election as the Chair of our 2015 Nominations and Elections Committee. Thank you, Rich, for undertaking this important task for our Section this year. Stay tuned for the election!

And last but not least, the world of particle accelerators and the particle/photon physics that these supercharged electronic devices help us to study continue to surprise, excite, and advance. Check out these new developments:

    Dual de-light! Light has been observed for the first time existing simultaneously as a wave and a particle. Before, we could see light as either a wave or a particle, but not both at the same time. Now, a group of scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) apparently has succeeded in capturing an image of light in both modes in the same timeframe. Here’s a graphical image they created of their achievement:


The implications are yet to be felt, but no doubt will prove significant for physics and possible future experiment designs for particle accelerators. More on this fascinating story can be found, along with a detailed explanation of the above image, at First photo of light as particle and wave (EarthSky, March 3, 2015).

    Cosmic catalyst? The Higgs boson may have caused, or at least helped to cause, the current cosmic domination of matter over antimatter. This new theory elevates the importance of the recently‑found Higgs Boson in influencing the particle makeup of the universe. Interesting, and yet, one wonders how it would relate to the outcome of charge‑parity experiments into the matter‑antimatter ratio that have been conducted at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and other accelerator  facilities? More on this story can be found at Higgs Boson Could Explain Matter’s Dominance over Antimatter (Scientific American, February 20, 2015).

And by the way, here’s the Standard Model modified to show where the Higgs boson fits in:

Standard Model with Higgs Boson


    Anyone up for hot soup?  Researchers at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are studying the most exotic form of matter known: quark‑gluon plasma. This high‑temperature form of matter, colloquially called quark‑gluon soup, is believed to have permeated the early universe before giving way to hadronic matter. Study of this “soup” could lead to a better understanding of how hadronic matter is created. A good discussion of this experiment at LHC can be found here: Particle jets reveal the secrets of the most exotic state of matter (, March 12, 2015).

    Why bother panning for gold when you can find it at Brookhaven? The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory recently restarted its research into the physics of the quark‑gluon soup, too, like at LHC. The approach of RHIC is to collide ions of gold to produce this esoteric plasma for study. Its usage of gold constitutes an otherwise well-justified “expensive taste” of the particle physics research world. Here’s a link to the restart of RHIC:  In LHC’s Shadow, America’s Collider Awakens (Quanta Magazine, March 6, 2015).

    Dark Matter – clear as mud? Recent data from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), or AMS-02, aboard the International Space Station is producing an active indicator for dark matter and a passive indicator against it, too. AMS‑02 searches for positrons, electrons, and gamma rays thought to come from the decay of neutralinos. Neutralinos are  the postulated supersymmetric bosonic partner particle of the neutrino, and are themselves thought to be among the decay products of dark matter. AMS‑02  results are showing a maximum energy peak at about 275 GeV for cosmic positrons, suggesting a similar maximum energy for the postulated dark matter particles that indirectly produce them. However, the predicted directional and accompanying gamma ray component is proving elusive to sort out from the rest of the electromagnetic flux  in interstellar space. Sounds like a job for particle accelerators to resolve!  See Sam Ting tries to expose dark matter's mysteries (Science News, March 6, 2015).

    Lastly, have your ever wished for an expansion of the Standard Model that includes categorization of particles as fermions, bosons, and hadrons? Here’s a terrific presentation that does exactly that. The presenter is Mike van Biezen, who is a professor at El Camino College, Loyola Marymount University, and an engineer at Raytheon in California. His brief video is public domain material, so feel free to view it by clicking on this link: (screen capture shown below),

Do we health physicists have the best profession on Earth, working around such beautiful science? You bet! These topics help prove it.

Happy Spring!!!



Steven Frey,



Elaine Marshall,
Sandia National Laboratories


Past President:

Jason Harris,
Idaho State University



Linnea Wahl,


Newsletter Editor:

Patrick Bragg,
Idaho State University




Melissa Mannion (2015), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


Robert May (2015),
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility


Don Cossairt (2016), 
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory


Reginald Ronningen (2016), National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory


•  Accelerator Section Website

•  HPS Website


From the President-Elect

Elaine Marshall


It has been scary just how quickly the first quarter has passed.  I am sure that it is because we have all been so busy.


I want to first extend my thanks to Sam Baker and also Frazier Bronson for being co-chairs for the Accelerator and Instrumentation session at the Mid-Year meeting.  For those that we able to attend the HPS Mid-Year meeting in Norfolk, Sam’s presentation on “Solving CARIBU Open Source Contamination Problems” provided insight and was most timely.  I found the new format of the mid-year to be received well and would encourage IARPE members to consider presenting next year.  The meeting gave me the opportunity to connect with other Accelerator Section members, but the laid back atmosphere was great for networking with others in the profession.  At least it did if you didn’t root for the opposing team to win the Super Bowl.


I am excited about the session that the Accelerator Section is hosting at the 60th Annual Meeting in Indianapolis.  Tuesday morning is guaranteed to be packed with lessons learned and recommendations to current issues (radioactive material management, instrumentation, air activation, readiness reviews and facility renovations, just to name a few) from our colleagues.  I would also ask your participation in the Accelerator Section Business meeting.  The Board members really want to solicit your input as to the direction of the Section and encourage you all to consider a role in the Section.  Nominations for Section Officers are still being solicited.  Also at the Business Meeting, we will recognize the student contributions as there are numerous student presentations being considered for the Lutz Moritz and H. Wade Patterson Student Awards.  Hopefully more information will be available regarding the Accelerator Standard on Clearance. 


On Monday, our Lorraine Marceau-Day will be presenting at the Plenary Session as this year’s Dade Moeller Lectureship recipient.  This honor showcases not only the noteworthy achievements of Dr. Marceau-Day, but also the importance of accelerator health physics and the ground-breaking work we do every day.  Please plan on attending this session.


For those in our community that are Certified Health Physicists, please note the announcement in the April HPS Newsletter announcing the increase in the number of hours (from 64 to 80) required to recertify beginning with those needing to recertify in calendar year 2016.  That being said, I am sure that Don Cossairt would welcome us all in the two-part PEP session he is offering Sunday morning entitled “Accelerator Physics for ES&H Professionals”.   The rest of the PEP and CEL schedule offers some unique opportunities for us all to stretch our knowledge base and learn some new applications.


The Accelerator Section has offered its support for the Science Camp that will be launched for the first time at the annual meeting.  There will be 50 teachers paired with 50 students learning more about health physics and all of the unique applications.  I know that Jeff Mason is still looking for volunteers to help out.


The Accelerator Section Board is also working on some social activities to fill that time we will have in the evenings.  Speaking from experience, getting to know your colleagues in this community on different levels is so rewarding and will prove invaluable.  I would encourage participation in the monthly Accelerator Community Conference Call which is open to those in the DOE arena.  Also open for consideration is the Accelerator Safety Workshop which is scheduled for September 2015.  Obviously more to come on these.


I look forward to seeing everyone in Indianapolis.


From The Secretary/Treasurer:
Linnea Wahl

If you are a member of the Health Physics Society (HPS) and read the April Health Physics News newsletter, you will know that the HPS gained more than 100 new members over the past six months or so. Even better news is that since 1 January 2015, four new HPS members also joined the Accelerator Section.


Please join me in welcoming our newest members—new in 2015 to HPS and to the Accelerator Section.


Gregg Devanna

Geoffrey Edwards

Brad Kreydick

Charles Slama




From Lorraine Day, CAMD Louisiana State University

Lorraine Day

News from CAMD


There is so much going on at Center for Advanced Microstructure and Devices (CAMD), a Synchrotron Ring at Louisiana State University, it’s hard to know where to begin. For the past four months CAMD has been undergoing a massive re-roofing project.  This has necessitated that we only operate our accelerators during the night shift. We have brought in additional help to run the accelerator since accelerator staff does not wish to stay late into the night. However that does not excuse the Radiation Safety Officer nor those individuals who have deadlines and need to use beam lines in order to achieve their goals.  Life is pretty hectic with 19 or 20 hour days sometimes. Alongside with this event, CAMD has been the recipient of one and possibly two beam lines from the old Wisconsin synchrotron ring as well as an Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) owned beamline that was housed in the old National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) at Brookhaven National Laboratory.   The Infrared (IR) Beamline from Wisconsin will take the entire fan from Dipole 8 and has 52 mirrors to “tune”.  This means a new dipole chamber needs to be designed and fabricated.  As we are still unpacking these items; I can’t say for certain that we have a complete 2nd IR beamline at this time. CAMD is also desirous of getting some spare parts from BNL, but the process is long and laborious. Commissioning the three new Wiggler Beamlines is ongoing and a daunting prospect.   In addition we are currently either rebuilding or putting in new micrometers for two additional beam lines.  This makes for interesting times to say the least. Currently we are having to run the Laue Monochromator without a cover. This is because it is necessary to be able to see the first diffracted beam before they can focus in on the second. From a Radiation Safety standpoint this makes the entire area an exclusion zone.  This is further complicated by the fact that due to the roofing project the entire upper roof of the CAMD facility is under wraps. This is to prevent any debris falling onto sensitive equipment below, including accelerator components.   Additional Visqueen has been placed over all the beamlines and hutches. This is preventing us from completing our interlock system for some of these new beam lines.  So in summary, CAMD is putting together an X-ray scattering beamline (with new Monochromator); 3 Wiggler beamlines including a High Energy X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy Beamline; A Tomography Beamline that is equipped with both a Laue Monochromator and a Multi-Layer Monochromator.  Defining slits just upstream from the Multi-Layer make it challenging to adequately shield.  We have also moved the PX (Protein Crystallography) Beamline to the center line of the Multi-Pole Wiggler output.  We are rebuilding another Double Crystal Monochromator Beamline and have both the IR beamline with its 52 mirrors and the ORNL beamline to install.  That is 6 new beamlines as well as the on-going efforts to optimize ring current with the new 7.5 Tesla Wiggler that was installed about 18 months ago.  Our accelerator group is looking for fabricators of RF recombiners.  So if anyone can point us to someone within the community who has expertise or direction please contact me at


Speaking of LSU, we are facing severe challenges in that regard as well.   Most of you are aware, that like Texas; Louisiana is an oil revenue state.  Though we are the Flagship University for the state (and a Tier 1 institution); LSU receives only 12.5% of its funding from the state.  At this time; there is a complete spending freeze (so much for my Pb windows for my hutches).  Further the state of Louisiana; by state constitution is not permitted to run a deficit.  However; lawmakers have constitutionally protected everything in the state except for Health and Human Services and Higher Education.  People will be more forgiving of cuts to higher education than they will be to cutting funding to a sick child.  Of course the children need to come first.  Whether CAMD can weather this storm is debatable; as our staff has been slashed by 56% over the past 3 to 4 years.  We are anticipating some information from the University President later today.  In conclusion; I regret that I was unable to participate nor attend the Mid-Year Meeting in Norfolk.  I hope our Jefferson Lab colleagues presented several accelerator related papers.


Finally; I would like to thank all the members of the Accelerator Section who wrote letters on my behalf for the Dade-Moeller Lectureship.  I am very grateful for your support; though humbled by this honor.  Now it is time to start work on that project.  Thank you all again.  It means the world to me to be so honored.





From Charles Schaefer, NLSL Brookhaven National Laboratory

Charles Schaefer


Decommissioning of the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory


Concurrent with the early phases of National Synchrotron Light Source Two (NSLS-2) commissioning, preparations were being made to decommission the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS).  NSLS was a large user facility dedicated to the production and utilization of synchrotron radiation and consisted of two electron storage rings and the associated injection system composed of a linear accelerator and a booster synchrotron.  It supported the development of electron-based radiation sources and new applications of this radiation in the physical and biological sciences.  Ground was broken in 1979 for construction and first beam was delivered in 1982.  The NSLS ended operations on September 30th, 2014.  Formal decommissioning is expected to begin in April 2015 and end sometime in mid-to-late CY2016.


Electrons were injected into the two NSLS storage rings from a booster synchrotron fed by a 150 MeV linear accelerator (linac).  After acceleration in the linac, the beam was injected into the Booster on seven successive turns (i.e., multi-turn injection).  After injection, the magnetic field of the booster main magnets increased to maintain a constant orbit radius as the radio frequency accelerating cavity boosted the electron energy to 750 MeV.  Electron beams were then injected into and accelerated to 800 MeV in the Vacuum Ultra-Violet Ring or to 2.8 GeV in the X Ray Ring.


Since early October of 2014 preparations have been made for the removal of all hazardous and radiological materials to help prepare the facility for reuse.  A process knowledge evaluation was completed to obtain information associated with the NSLS facility design and operations, historical radiological surveying and monitoring, operational events, as well as the nature of material and equipment activation at other similar facilities.  The evaluation included a review of NSLS documents, operational event databases, facility walkthroughs, known or suspected beam loss locations, interviews with subject matter experts (SMEs), as well as a site visit to the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) to learn about their processes for recycling materials from within their accelerator enclosures.


A baseline radiological survey of the accelerator was performed in October 2014.  This survey was designed to provide information for determining the general radiological status of the structures, systems and components in the enclosures including a preliminary indication of the extent and location of activated components.  The highest on-contact exposure rate reading was a few hundred µR/hr.  The survey showed that many sections of the accelerator were not significantly activated or not measurably activated.


The results of this baseline activation survey were used to (1) choose locations for obtaining gamma spectroscopy measurements of activated components, and (2) choose sampling locations in support of an activated component sampling plan.  The gamma spectroscopy measurements showed the major gamma-emitting radionuclides to be 51Cr, 54Mn, and 57Co.  Analysis of metal components along the vacuum pipe by a commercial laboratory confirmed these results and also showed 55Fe, a pure beta emitter, to be significant in the samples of stainless steel.  Both sets of results are being used to help develop facility-specific survey protocols for potentially activated materials from within the accelerator enclosures.  BNL is planning to implement the concept of “Indistinguishable from Background” (IFB) in its release surveys meaning materials will not be unconditionally released for reuse or recycling unless it can be demonstrated that the material contains added radioactivity at levels that cannot be distinguished from the local background using sensitive hand-held instruments that are appropriate to the NSLS source term.


One of the major challenges is to remove and dispose of lead shielding.  Lead bricks and sheets were used as shadow shielding both within the accelerator enclosures and along portions of the beam lines.  It is estimated that the facility contains 600 tons of lead shielding.  The lead used along the beam lines is free of radiological contamination because the beam lines were only used to transport x rays to the target end stations; hence there was no potential for the beam-line lead shielding to have been made radioactive.  Modeling using FLUKA, a Monte Carlo simulation code, is being performed to determine the radionuclides that can be produced in lead by bombardment with high-energy gamma rays and neutrons produced at beam loss locations.  The indications are that the stacks of lead bricks will not significantly activate, the radionuclides produced are mostly short-lived, and that therefore the lead will be “IFB” when surveyed with conventional hand-held instruments a short time after beam operations have ceased.

The good news is that personnel radiological exposure will not be a significant issue in the NSLS D&D Project.  The bad news is that the industrial and ergonomic hazards of handling of lead will more than make up for this.

The good news is that personnel radiological exposure will not be a significant issue in the NSLS D&D Project.  The bad news is that the industrial and ergonomic hazards of handling of lead will more than make up for this.

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