U.S. Particle Accelerator School

Controlling Risks: Safety Systems course

Sponsoring University:

University of Texas at Austin


Controlling Risks: Safety Systems


Ken Barat and Patrick Bong, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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 and IEC61511 as applied to accelerator safety systems. The elements of a safety program for users will be reviewed as applied to a User Facility setting. This course is directed to accelerator/experimental physicists, electrical/electronic engineers, health physicists/technicians, and managers responsible for developing and maintaining safety system(s) for equipment and users. 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 will award 32 Continuing Education Credits for Certified Health Physicists who participate in this course.


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

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that he or she meets the course prerequisites or has equivalent experience.

To teach the basic skills required for safety systems analysis, design, and management in the context of accelerator safety systems. As well as the role of a user safety program in providing user and equipment safety in a user facility. 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 2-4 group exercises that will introduce students to hazard assessments tools and risk modeling, and developing users safety program .Problem sets will be assigned and are expected to be completed outside of scheduled class sessions. The instructor 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 (10 CFR 835), standards of practice (includes review of IEC61508 and IEC61511), risk assessment methods, SIL evaluation, Safety System Models (RBD, FTA, Markov), and architectures. User program elements, for user and equipment safety will be reviewed. Additional topics that may be presented as time allows include SIL rated systems, operational considerations, human factors, certification and testing, cost/value analysis, beam burn-through, oxygen deficiency, and final devices/critical devices.

Reading Requirements
(to be provided by the USPAS) “Control Systems Safety Evaluation and Reliability”, 3rd. Edition by William M. Goble, International Society of Automation (2010). 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 (60% of final grade), class participation (20% of final grade) and Final Examination (20% of final grade.)

IU/USPAS course: Physics 671