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

Second Quarter 2014 /
Volume 24, Number 2



Jason Harris, Idaho State University

Steven Frey

Past President:
Mike Sandvig, Idaho National Lab

Johannes Bauer, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Newsletter Editor: 
Scott Schwahn, Oak Ridge National Laboratory 

H.F. (Henry) Kahnhauser (2014), Brookhaven National Laboratory 
George Kharashvili (2014), Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility 

Melissa Mannion (2015), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 
Robert May (2015), Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility

Don Cossairt (2016), Fermilab
Reginald Ronningen (2016), National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory

• Accelerator Section Website
• HPS Website
The Editor’s Message

Scott Schwahn


OK, I admit… I was a little disappointed at the volume of correspondence in this issue. I suppose I might expect this in the summer issue – folks out enjoying some warm weather leaves little “spare” time for writing an article. But this publication needs YOU!


Speaking of YOU, President Elect Steve Frey offers some words of interest and encouragement for us accelerator health physicists in terms of strategic planning in the accelerator community (with some nice alliteration), and thankfully, he provides a nice summary of some noteworthy events. Thanks, Steve!


Enjoy your summer!



The President Elect’s Message

Steve Frey


Hi everyone, summer at last! Besides the seasonal heat, one factor making things hot right now in the American accelerator world is the proposed prioritization of particle physics projects priorities recently put forth by the Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5), a special panel created by the DOE High Energy Particle Advisory Panel (HEPAP) to plan out our country’s particle physics projects and facilities for the next three years. Let’s talk about this topic for a moment.


P5 has been at this task since last September. Faced with lively international competition and domestic budget challenges, the Panel produced three budget-based scenarios for consideration. The most optimistic of the three scenarios calls for constant funding for 3 years followed by 3% increases per year after that (Symmetry, 05/22/2014).


At first glance, that does not appear to be much money for nurturing new operations, let alone sustaining all of the current ones in our nation. Nonetheless, P5 has developed an impressive plan for getting the most scientific value for the dollar. Here’s where it gets interesting for us accelerator health physicists: P5 recommended, among other things, that the U.S. offer to host an ambitious international program for neutrino research, with both existing and possibly new laboratories based here in in America. Such a path forward promises to be exciting! The specialized neutrino-production accelerators that may be built to support that path could lead to a heightened demand for health physicists who specialize in neutrino production accelerator radiation safety. If funding further permits, new and expanded domestic facilities specializing in cosmic ray, dark matter, dark energy, and cosmic inflation research may also materialize. Such facilities would almost certainly feature accelerators and need accelerator health physicists to support their operation.   


Moreover, other noteworthy things are happening in the accelerator realms that affirm its irrepressible vitality. Since our Section’s last quarterly newsletter, evidence from cosmic gamma-ray studies that point toward the existence of dark matter particles has been obtained by independent scientists at FermiLab staff and other facilities (Symmetry, 04/03/2014).  Not to be outdone, researchers at the Large Hadron Collider announced their observation of a hadron made up of four quarks (instead of the usual three quarks, or even two) (Symmetry, 04/14/2014). In perhaps the most surprising development in the 2nd Quarter of this year, the probability of existence of the “sterile neutrino”, a theoretical particle thought by some to be the material composing dark matter, became smaller. Scientists with the MINOS project announced that no indication of such neutrinos has been found in the data collected to date in the measurement range for which the MINOS project is designed (Symmetry, 06/04/2014). If sterile neutrinos exist, perhaps the Enriched Xenon Observatory 200 (EXO-200) Project, currently being conducted at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) will have better fortune finding them (Symmetry, 06/04/2014).


And, more interesting stuff is about to be revealed about accelerator based physics and radiation safety at our upcoming Accelerator Section Technical Session at the upcoming HPS Annual Meeting. Our Technical Session is scheduled for both morning and afternoon on Tuesday, 07/15/2014.  (Ed. Note: Click HERE to add the morning session to your calendar. Click HERE to add the afternoon session).


Please come! See your friends and colleagues there. Let them share their latest accelerator health physics’ findings and best practice suggestions with you. From beamlines to beam dumps, radiation doses to radiation transport, and shielding to star party wormholes, there will be offered plenty of good radiation safety “nuggets to know.”


Lastly, our Section’s officers’ elections are coming up very soon. If you are an HPS Accelerator Section Member, please vote! The process will be carried out electronically this election via the HPS electronic balloting service, making it very easy to cast your selections for the officership slots. You will be notified by email when the voting begins.


Hoping your summer is warm and relaxing. It will be that way at the HPS Annual Meeting in Baltimore. See you there!



Announcement: International Accelerator School and U.S. Particle Accelerator School


The next US-CERN-Japan-Russia International Accelerator School will be held in Newport Beach, California from November 5 – 14, 2014 and will concentrate on “Beam Loss and Accelerator Protection”.

This school is intended for physicists and engineers who are or may be engaged in the design, construction, and/or operation of accelerators with high power photon or particle beams and/or accelerator sub-systems with large stored energy. We will present the methods and technologies to identify, mitigate, monitor, and manage the technical risks associated with or operation of accelerators with high power beams or sub-systems with large stored energy the fault or failure modes of which can result in substantial damage to accelerator systems or significance interruption of facility operations. At the completion of the school the participants should be able understand the physical phenomena that can damage machine sub-systems or interrupt operations and to analyze an accelerator facility to produce register of technical risks and the corresponding risk mitigation and management strategies. Attendees residing in the U.S. are encouraged to enroll for University of New Mexico credit. Participants who successfully complete their coursework will earn 2 units of UNM graduate credit.

A limited number of scholarships are available.  Please visit for the program, detailed information and an application form.

We are pleased to announce that our next program of the U.S. Particle Accelerator School of university-style credit courses will be sponsored by Old Dominion University and held in Hampton, Virginia from January 19-30, 2015.  Participants may earn 3 credits from Old Dominion University or may choose to audit their course. Financial support is limited and will be awarded on a competitive basis. Participation is open to both U.S. and non-U.S. residents.

One undergraduate-level course and eleven specialized graduate-level courses will be offered:

·         Fundamentals of Accelerator Physics & Technology with Simulations and Measurements Lab (UG)

·         Accelerator Physics

·         Microwave Measurement and Beam Instrumentation Lab

·         SRF Technology:  Practices & Hands-On Measurements

·         Beam Physics with Intense Space Charge

·         Special Topics in Accelerator Physics

·         Vacuum Science & Technology for Accelerator Vacuum Systems

·         Accelerator Power Electronics Engineering

·         Collective Effects in Beam Dynamics

·         Cryogenic Engineering

·         Pulsed Power Engineering

·         Modern Computational Accelerator Physics

Please visit for full details and an application form.

U.S. Particle Accelerator School
Fermilab, MS 125
P.O. Box 500, Batavia, IL  60510
Phone 630-840-3896
Fax 630-840-8500


Subscribe or Update Your E-mail Address

If you wish to contact the editor of this newsletter click here