Accelerator Radiation Safety Newsletter

Description: ../../index_files/image002.jpg

(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: 474

First Quarter 2013 /
Volume 22, Number 1


The Editor’s Message

Scott Schwahn


“Short but sweet.” Those were words used to describe the last newsletter. I usually find that description to be complimentary, but I would really much rather hear the words, “long but fascinating.” I can’t do that without your input. You may not have noticed the new disclaimer in the red box above; that statement was put in so that some of you who are concerned about getting formal company approval before submitting an article might have a little more leeway. Please consider contributing in June.


In this issue, Lorraine Day points to some issues that typically don’t make it to the list of concerns for health physicists. To me, that’s what makes it particularly interesting. Planning, scheduling, budget, space, and continuity (i.e., retirement!)… all of them can ultimately have an impact on radiation safety. I don’t recall having classes on these subjects!


There is also a last-minute reminder of the upcoming US Particle Accelerator School and a job opening.


Enjoy –


The President’s Message

Michael Sandvig


The search has begun for candidates to fill four Accelerator Section positions. Two new Directors are needed as well as the President-Elect and newsletter editor. The term of office will begin with the closure of the Annual HPS meeting this July in Madison Wisconsin.


Each Section member should consider accepting a nomination for one of these positions. The positions provide each member an opportunity to give back to the Society. New members gain experiences while they develop relationships with and learn from each other. The seasoned members mentor the new members, providing leadership and perspective. Everyone's service is appreciated.


My thanks go out to Sam Baker, Kamran Vasiri and Michael Duran for serving on the nomination committee this year. Please respond when they contact you. You are also encouraged to self-nominate for any position.


Mike Sandvig, Idaho National Lab

Jason Harris, Idaho State University

Past President:
Rich Brey, Idaho State University

Louise Buker, Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Johannes Bauer, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Newsletter Editor:
Scott Schwahn, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Eric Burgett (2013), Idaho State University


Lorraine Marceau-Day (2013), Louisiana State University


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 




Accelerator Section Website
HPS Website

The mid-year meeting in Scottsdale Arizona on Medical Health Physics and Accelerator Dosimetry was very informative. The Accelerator Section was a co-sponsor for this meeting. Thank you to all who had a hand in making this a very successful meeting. My special thanks go out to Michael Grissom for his significant efforts leadership leading to the success of this meeting.


I echo Scott’s message last quarter and encourage you to highlight your facilities activities. The requirements to publish in this newsletter are few. It is a great way to relate what issues you are facing. Collaboration is the heart and soul of the Accelerator Section.


I hope to see you in Madison Wisconsin at the Annual Meeting.




News from the Center for Advanced Microstructures & Devices (CAMD)
Lorraine Marceau-Day

CAMD’s 7.5 T MPW (multipole wiggler) is about to be installed and commissioned. Resources are extremely limited and make activities such as these very difficult and inefficient.  As shown in the figure below, CAMD is equipped with a 360° crane. 

However, the weight of the new multi-pole wiggler is such that it exceeds the capacity of the crane.  Therefore, shielding blocks will have to be removed and then re-configured to accommodate the wiggler.  An existing beamline will have to be removed before shielding blocks can be moved.  A second beamline has already been dismantled and appropriate shielding placed both inside the ring and at the former beamline exit.  The wiggler is so large that it occupies the full length of the available long straight section.  This means there is no room for additional vacuum pumps. 

In addition to the wiggler, a new dipole chamber and three new beamlines will be built.  These conditions mean that there is significant potential for the development of gas bremsstrahlung from beam hitting virgin metal.  Furthermore, budget cuts preclude 24/7 operation of the synchrotron.  Previous experience with this ring suggests that beam lifetime (when re-injection must occur) plateaus after about 120 A-hours of operation (see figure below). 

The reduced availability of operational time means that this plateau will require 4 to 5 months to achieve.  This protracted time, of course, equates to a rigorous commissioning process.  During the initial commissioning phase, all radiation shall be remotely monitored without personnel in the vicinity. 

Calculations have indicated that there should not be an additional burden to the environment, provided shielding has been adequately addressed.  We shall proceed judiciously and carefully, monitoring each step of the way.  The facility anticipates this shutdown to last 6 months before any user beam will again become available.  Matters are further complicated by the retirement of our chief Accelerator Physicist.  He will be available part of the time, but his experience and particularly his familiarity with this particular synchrotron ring is invaluable.

Announcement: United States Particle Accelerator School

The deadline to submit an application form for the USPAS summer session is only a couple of days away.  This school will be sponsored by Colorado State University and held in Fort Collins, Colorado from June 10-21, 2013.  Participants may earn 3 credits from Colorado State University or may choose to audit their course. One undergraduate-level course and eleven specialized graduate-level courses will be offered.   Financial support is limited and will be awarded on a competitive basis. To be considered for financial support you must submit four documents:  a completed application form; a cover letter explaining why the USPAS is important to your career; your CV; at least one letter of recommendation.   Participation is open to both U.S. and non-U.S. residents.

Two-week full courses:
Fundamentals of Accelerator Physics and Technology with Simulations and Measurements Lab (undergrad level)
Accelerator Physics
Classical Mechanics and Electromagnetism for Accelerators
Synchrotron Radiation and Free Electron Lasers for Bright X-Rays
Microwave Measurements and Beam Instrumentation Lab
Beam Physics with Intense Space Charge
Laser Principles and Devices

Two-week half courses:
Project Management for Scientists and Engineers
Design of Electron Storage and Damping Rings
High-Energy Physics Principles and Instrumentation
Medical Accelerators and Radiological Physics
Linear Accelerator Design for Free Electron Lasers

Please visit for full details and an electronic application form.

Announcement: Job Opening in Las Vegas – Radiation Safety Officer

Organization: Varian Medical Systems, Inc.• Las Vegas, NV 

The Radiation Safety Officer will manage the radiation safety program for the Varian campus in Las Vegas and other locations in Nevada.  Will oversee and administer the occupational radiation protection and radiation licensing programs required for the possession and safe use of medical and industrial radiation-generating machines and radioactive materials (including activated materials and depleted uranium).  Will develop training and procedures as needed for Varian facilities in Nevada and also for personnel involved globally in installation and service for industrial accelerators.  Will coordinate with other Varian radiation safety personnel to assure such training and procedures are consistent with the existing radiation safety programs.  Will obtain (or provide support to obtain) the certifications and licensing needed for the distribution, installation or service involving industrial accelerators and end-user sites in North and Latin America.  

Minimum five years’ experience in radiation protection with at least two years’ experience as the Radiation Safety Officer for a complex organization.  Bachelor's degree in Health Physics (or closely related); Master's and/or Certified Health Physicist preferred.

For additional information and to apply, please enter "Radiation Safety" as the keyword (or 5254BR as the "Auto req ID") at:

Subscribe or Update Your E-mail Address

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