U.S. Particle Accelerator School

System Safety and Safety Systems for Accelerators course

Sponsoring University:

University of Wisconsin - Madison


System Safety and Safety Systems for Accelerators


Kelly Mahoney and Sandra Prior, TJNAF

This course will present material on the specification, design, and analysis of electrical/electronic/programmable electronic safety systems for use in the protection of personnel, equipment, and the environment. Approaches such as IEC61508, IEC61511 and modern system safety programs will be compared in the context of accelerator system safety. Basic principles of accelerator system safety will be presented along with examples of systems in use today. Systems covered include ionizing radiation interlocks, non-ionizing radiation, e.g. laser and RF, safety interlocks, access control systems, electrical system interlocks, machine protection devices, beam abort and blocking devices, and oxygen deficiency monitoring systems. Topics covered include hazard analysis, reliability calculations, and high assurance system design. The course will focus on practical issues such as reliability vs. availability, software vs. hardware systems, and management of change. The system safety part of the course will cover statutory and regulatory requirements for safety in accelerators as well as the development and management of safety systems. Topics include statutory requirements, safety assessment, OSHA/NRC external regulation, safety envelopes, and quality assurance. Finally, there is a discussion of how to approach accelerator hazards not normally mitigated by safety systems. Prerequisites:  Basic undergraduate background in physical science and a mathematical background at least through first-year undergraduate calculus. Press release on previous course. Textbook to be provided: "Reliability, Maintainability & Risk" by David Smith, Elsevier Science publishers.