U.S. Particle Accelerator School

System Safety and Safety Systems for Accelerators course

Sponsoring University:

Arizona State University


System Safety and Safety Systems for Accelerators


Kelly Mahoney, Jefferson Lab

Purpose and Audience
The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the practical issues of accelerator system safety such as reliability vs. availability, software vs. hardware systems, and the management of change. The material is designed to introduce students to the competency requirements of IEC61508. This course is directed at accelerator/experimental physicists, electrical/electronic engineers, health physicists/technicians, and managers responsible for developing/maintaining safety system(s). It is suitable for last year undergraduate students or higher who have an interest in safety system design and lifecycle management. This course also can provide a broader background to accelerator operations staff and safety engineers. The American Academy of Health Physics has awarded 32 Continuing Education credits for this course.

Basic undergraduate background in physical science and a mathematical background at least through first-year undergraduate calculus.

To teach the basic skills required for safety systems analysis, design, and management in the context of accelerator safety systems. The basic skills include: Safety Lifecycle development; Initiating Event calculation; SIS selection and evaluation; Fail Safe design; and Requirements Identification and development.

Instructional Method
This course will include a series of lectures with PowerPoint presentations and related handouts. There will be 2-3 computer labs that will introduce students to automated hazard assessments tools and risk modeling. Problem sets will be assigned and are expected to be completed outside of scheduled class sessions. Two instructors will be available outside of class for group discussion and homework sessions.

Course Content
Course content includes a basic introduction to system safety in research accelerators followed by a discussion on safety terminology (i.e. hazard, risk, accidents, reliability) as it relates to system safety. The concept of lifecycle management will be introduced. Lifecycle relationships will be stressed throughout the remainder of the course as they relate to each of the following: regulatory requirements, standards of practice (includes review of IEC61508 and IEC61511), risk assessment methods, SIL evaluation, Safety System Models (RBD, FTA, Markov), and architectures. Additional topics that may be presented as time allows include operational considerations, human factors, certification and testing, cost/value analysis, beam burn-through, oxygen deficiency, and final devices/critical devices.

Reading Requirements
Students will be provided with a reading list approximately 30 days before the scheduled class dates.

Credit Requirements
Students will be evaluated based on performance as follows: homework (80% of final grade) and class participation (20% of final grade).