I am trying to study the radiation safety and what kind of roles are required there with particle accelerators. Radiation safety groups of CERN is here. I contacted their a few members of them. I am applying there for summer job where I would like to combine my knowledge from my degrees of Medicine and Physics. I am particularly interested in tissue damage caused by these accelerators and cannot find studies about them and how possible radiation can start different physiological processes in human body.

I am interested in what should be studied more and improved in these processes. Can we optimise something?

Engineering fields based on this publication

  • warning devices
  • circuit diagrams
  • ventilation systems
  • portable or mobile accelerators

These accelerators used in Healing Arts (ibid.)

  • Leakage radiation to the patient area.
  • Leakage radiation outside the patient area for new equipment.
  • Beam limiting devices.
  • Filters.
  • Electron beam quality.
  • Beam monitors.
  • Beam symmetry.
  • Selection and display of dose monitor units.
  • Termination or irradiation by the dose monitoring system or systems.
  • Interruption and termination switches.
  • Timer.
  • Selection of radiation type.
  • Selection of stationary beam therapy or moving beam therapy.
  • Absorbed dose rate.
  • Calibrations.
  • Spot check

where these processes are used to restrict the radiation to the human. I think this is the reason why they call it healing arts.

Safety control measures from this publication

I think CERN's particle accelerator measures are similar to X-ray. (please, post relevant if you find)

[X-ray equipment] measures include written procedures for operation and alignment, periodic testing of interlocks and safety devices, proper labeling of equipment and posting of rooms, and limits on radiation fields produced by the equipment.

Safety surveys

Periodic safety surveys of analytical x-ray equipment will be conducted by Office of Radiation Safety staff.

I think this involves

  • personnal dosimetry
  • extreme dosimetry
  • dosimeter exchange (4 times a year at least)
  • maximum limits of radiation annum
  • Investigation levels to different organs (total effective vs eye) - This can be approximated but can also be counted individually. Interesting to know if anyone has done this for each individual based on their characteristics.

which are regularly studied in

  • monthly reports
  • year reports
  • notifications sent to MDs and other relevant people about levels which exceed permitted levels

What are these safety surveys? How are they conducted? Are users of the machines somehow tested and/or interviewed?


  • Absorbed units
  • Dose equivalent
  • Organ specific $H = \sum D_i W_i$ where separate factors (effective dose values) for each organ
  • Exposure
  • Effective dose equivalent

Some factors which I would like to know more about because they are tissue specific

  • deep dose equivalent
  • shallow dose equivalent
  • eye dose equivalent
  • total effective dose equivalent
  • committed equivalent dose equivalent

How can you determine shallow dose and deep dose equivalents?

Safety Organisation based on ASU model

  • Radiation Regulatory Agency
  • Radiation Safety Committee
  • Radiation Safety Officer
  • Registration
  • Operators and License Holders

where I think CERN's approach must have similar hierarchy

Radiation Control Measures

  • Registration
  • Notification of receipt of equipment
  • Radiation surveys of equipment
  • Maintenance
  • Testing of safety devices
  • Emergency procedures

Then, each equipment have safety own procedures

  • labeling
  • visual indications
  • interlocks
  • beam shutters

Facilities have dedicated work places. Users have specific requirements; possibility to bypass interlocks and safety devices. Personnel must not be exposed to primary beam in any phase.

Is there any meta-analysis about Radiation Safety from Particle Accelerators and processes to manage it? I am particularly interested in how they do it in CERN.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Every scientific facility is subject to the worker health and safety and environmental laws of the country it is in. It is, beyond common sense and good engineering practices, the legal environment that sets operational conditions and organizational safety structure.. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Dec 13 '14 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I know this general story. I am interested in how this is done practically. Between MDs and Physicists to estimate the amount of dangerous radiation from different phases of particle accelerators. $\endgroup$ – Léo Léopold Hertz 준영 Dec 14 '14 at 19:51
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ MDs, as in physicians? I am not aware that any physicians are involved. The additional radiation exposure at a science facility (unlike in a nuclear power plant) is supposed to be ZERO. Significant exposure only happens by accident, which, to my knowledge, are exceedingly rare because of the safety culture, at least in all facilities I have ever been. Needless to say, in case of an accident there is hell to pay, absolutely nobody wants to go there.As for the calculations, they are done the same way the detector calculations are done, with radiation propagation codes. $\endgroup$ – CuriousOne Dec 14 '14 at 23:59

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