Introduction to the Tandem Van de Graaff Facility

Welcome to the Tandem Van de Graaff Facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory! The purpose of the attached information is to aid you in conducting your work in a safe and productive manner. A list of contact persons is included at the end of this document. Please keep it handy and refer to it as needed.

Two Tandem Van de Graaff (TVDG) Accelerators and associated support equipment are contained in Building 901A. This building also contains offices for the personnel of the Tandem Operations Group, a group within the Collider Accelerator (C-A) Department.  The Advanced Accelerator Group, a group within the Physics Department, also has office and laboratory space in the building. The unique safety and administrative concerns relating to the operation of the accelerators have made it advantageous to have a safety organization, safety policies and regulations that are specific to Building 901A and the associated TTB (Tandem to Booster) tunnel and power supply houses (Buildings 907, 908, 909 and 941).  All building occupants, regardless of whether they are associated with the accelerators, are subject to these regulations.

Please familiarize yourself with the procedures contained in this document that are applicable to the location and your type of work. You will also find additional information and updates on our web page that also has links to the C-A and other BNL information. We hope your stay at Brookhaven is a safe and productive one!

James Alessi, Group Leader, Operations and Development

Safety Information

The policy of the Laboratory is to protect the environment and to provide a safe and healthy workplace for all employees, guests, visitors, and contractors. As a new member of, or visitor to, the Tandem Van de Graaff, you should be aware that there are safety procedures that must be followed. These policies are outlined in the Employees' Handbook, the BNL ES&H Standards the C-A Operations Procedure Manual (OPM),. Copies of the latter two documents are available in the Tandem Control Room and in the Department Library.

Safety Organization

The responsibilities of the people in the department safety organization are detailed below.  The individuals currently holding these titles are listed at the end of this document. The Tandem Van de Graaff Directory for Building 901A and the C-A Directory, included at the end of this document, identifies the individuals who have ES&H (Environmental Safety and Health) responsibilities within this building. Should you have any safety related questions or be uncertain as to whether your project requires review by the Department ES&H Committee, please contact your Group Leader, the Department ES&H Coordinators, the Tandem Advisory Committee or any member of the Department ES&H Committee.

The C-A Department Associate Chairman for Safety oversees and reviews all aspects of safety in the Department.

The C-A Department Safety Section Head oversees Health Physics/Industrial Hygiene, Documentation and Training, Quality Assurance, Safety Engineering, Safety Systems, and Environmental Waste Management.

The Department Environmental Safety & Health Committee provides assistance and advice on safety. This Committee is comprised of the membership of the following C-A Safety Committees and others as designated by the Department Chairman: Radiation Safety, Experimental Safety Review, Accelerator Systems Safety Review, ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable), Safety Inspection, and C-A ES&H Services Representative.

Group Leaders advise the ES&H Committee of new projects or potential problem areas which could require a safety review. Group Leaders have the responsibility to inform the Committee of any hazardous equipment or chemicals brought to the Laboratory by their collaborators. It is the responsibility of employees and guests to advise their Group Leader of the need for this equipment/chemical before bringing it on site.

ES&H Coordinators  The Department ES&H Coordinators provide liaison between the ES&H Services and Occupational Medicine Divisions and the Department Chairman. The coordinators are responsible for implementing safety policy and procedures and ensuring that the Department is in compliance with Laboratory and DOE policy as well as with county and state regulations.

The Tandem Advisory Committee provides advice to the Group Leader and Tandem personnel on all safety issues, conducts a monthly meeting where safety issues are discussed, tracked and brought to resolution.

You are required to attend all training applicable to your work at the Laboratory. All BNL employees and guests are required to attend General Employees Training (GET) before they begin work. Hazard Communication (HazCom) Training is required for all C-A Department employees and guests whose work is not strictly confined to offices. Users of the Tandem Facility receive a site-specific training that includes site wide and local emergency signals and procedures. Hazard Communication Training is also required for employees and guests of other departments who work in laboratories and shops in Building 901A. Your supervisor, based on your job responsibilities, sets additional training requirements.  Specific BNL Certification is required for entrance or work in radiation or radiation controlled areas and for operation of cranes, forklifts and machine shop equipment. Some laser and electrical work also requires specific training. The Department Training Coordinator or the Training Office (Room A-128 in Building 911A) can provide you with additional information about training.

You can access your training record at You can see a schedule and register for courses at or by calling x4151.

Quality Assurance
Experimental work in the C-A Department involves all aspects of the Quality Assurance (QA) Program.  The QA responsibilities of managers of Department activities, (i.e. group leaders, experiment spokespeople, chief engineers) consist primarily of determining what QA procedures apply and maintaining documentation on the execution of those procedures. The Department Designated Quality Assurance Representative (DQAR) provides assistance with QA related issues.

Building Access and Security
All exterior doors to Building 901A are kept locked except between 8:30am and 5:00pm on regular work days.  After hours, accelerator operators will respond to the doorbell at the main entrance when they are present in the building.  Personnel who require access to the building after hours may be issued keys.  Exterior doors to the building should NEVER be blocked open to allow access.  Anyone who finds doors blocked open after hours should close them and inform the Building Manager or the Operator-in-charge.

Many signs provide information about building rules and hazards.  Individuals are expected to comply with the instructions on all signs.  Anyone who cannot read and understand signs must be escorted while in the building. Individuals who might require assistance in responding to emergency alarms or to instructions from the building PA system should notify the Operator-in-Charge in the Control Room upon initial entry to the building.

Safety-Related Signs
Individuals are responsible for posting temporary, non-radiological, safety-related signs in their work areas whenever training, supervisory instruction or common sense indicates that such posting is necessary.  Temporary signs should be signed and dated or some other means of determining the reason for and origin of the posting should be provided.

Individuals are responsible for obeying all signs.  If an individual believes that an area has been posted unnecessarily, the ES&H Coordinator should be informed.  The ES&H Coordinator should then evaluate the need for the sign and may remove it if it is found to be inappropriate.

Use of Equipment
Operation of some equipment requires training by Tandem Operations Group personnel. Equipment and the individual responsible for in-house training is listed below.

Responsible Individual
Machine shop  Pete Heilig
Overhead cranes  Harry Hacker
Forklift  Hans Abendroth
SEU Facility  Vladimir Zajic
Whatman Nuclepore Facility  Mike Zarcone

Additional training by ES&H Services may also be necessary. Each Target Room and Laboratory  is posted with the type of work that can be performed in that area. Depending on the level of training and permission, a person may be authorized to perform specific work or may be limited to observing work that is carried on. The types of training for different groups in 901A are listed below.

Authorized Worker Training

Users Required GERT or Radiological Worker I or II 
As Needed Electrical Safety I, Compressed Gas, Hazard Communications, Activation, Laser, Lockout/Tagout 
Required Radiological Worker I or II 
As Needed Electrical Safety I, Lockout/Tagout, Crane, Fork Lift, Compressed Gas, Cryogenic Safety,  Hazard Communications, Activation, Contamination, C-A Working Hot, Laser, Confined Space 
Other BNL
Required GERT or Radiological Worker I or II
As Needed  Specific for type of work

Two-Man Rule
There are many areas of the building that may have potentially hazardous conditions present, such as rotating machinery, electrical shock hazard, radiation hazard or the presence of insulating gas (asphyxiation hazard).  These areas include the Accelerator Rooms, Target Rooms 1, 2, 3, and 4, the Mechanical Equipment Room, the Electrical Equipment Room (except for the office area), Lab. 0, Lab 2, the Ion Source Lab and the Basement Equipment Room.  When working alone in one of these areas, especially during hours other than the normal workday, another person, preferably one of the operations staff, should be notified of your presence in the area.  This person should again be notified on completion of the work.  If for any reason there should be only one person in the building, he or she will under no circumstances enter the areas listed above.

There are also accelerator-related procedures that require the presence of one or more additional people.  The Operations Supervisor is responsible for training the Operations staff in these procedures.

There are other situations for which BNL ES&H regulations require the presence of additional personnel.  The BNL ES&H Standard should be consulted and followed whenever hazardous work is to be performed.

Training Office
The Tandem Operations Personnel handle local training for Users and other visitors. Those requiring training other than General Employees Radiological Training (GERT) can get information in the Department Training Office located in Room A-128 of Building 911A. You can go to the office or call x4772 if you have a question about training.

Radiological Information
It is of primary importance that radiological regulations be followed TO THE LETTER. Radiological regulations are federal laws; BNL is responsible for keeping track of all infractions. Serious single violations or repeated minor violations have resulted in substantial fines being paid by BNL. Individuals responsible for serious, willful violations have been barred from site.  It is even possible that violators could be prosecuted.

To enter an area with yellow and magenta radiological signs you must have the appropriate BNL radiological training or someone with that training must continuously escort you. Thermoluminescent Dosimeters, TLDs, (also known as radiation or film badges) are required for entry into areas marked “TLD required”.

The Department is required to maintain an inventory of radioactive sources.  Notify the Operations Supervisor, ES&H Coordinator, or the ES&H Services Technician/Representative before bringing any source into the department.

If you have any questions on radiological regulations or radiation dose rates, or if you wish to be certain that a task is being conducted in a manner to assure that As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) Guidelines are maintained, contact the ALARA Coordinator.

It is important to make you aware of the absolute requirement to follow all radiation safety rules at C-A facilities. Federal law (PAA) provides for criminal and monetary penalties if you do not follow the rules fully. Persons have been the subject of criminal investigations when found to willfully remove a radiation barrier. Thus, we request that you pay particular attention to the radiation safety rules that follow.

Are Users accepting additional legal liabilities when signing TLD release-forms or similar douments related to compliance with radiation-safety rules? The short answer is that the User incurs no personal liability under the provisions of the Act unless he/she intentionally acts to violate the radiation safety rules.

The Price-Anderson Act sets up a regulatory scheme for enforcement of radiation safety rules, including radiation protection standards (10 CFR 835). Failure to comply with those rules, or to identify and report a non-compliance to DOE, subjects the Laboratory (not a User) to an enforcement action. This could include a legal Notice of Violation and a civil penalty up to $100,000 per violation.

When signing documents related to radiation safety, a User is essentially confirming that he/she has done his/her assigned experiment according to the rules. The signature does not mean that the User is guaranteeing that the experiment will be carried out perfectly or that there is no potential for a violation. It does mean that the User is performing his/her duties to the best of their ability and has made a good faith effort to comply with the radiation safety rules. A "good faith effort to comply with the rules" means that the User has familiarized him/herself with the requirements of regulations that fall within his/her area of responsibility. Having done so, he/she should he in a position to approve/sign off on procedures or training to carry out work involving radiation safety.

Radiation Safety System
Entry into any Controlled Areas (areas that are monitored and controlled for radiation safety purposes) requires one of the following:
  General Employee Radiation Training (GERT),
  Radiation Worker I. (RWI.), or
  Escort by a person who is trained with GERT or RWI.

Those trained with GERT or RWI. can receive a TLD (Thermoluminescent Dosimeter), a radiation badge that is replaced and monitored monthly. Users, non-BNL employees who use the applied facilities, do not receive a permanent badge but are issued one temporarily when they work in the Controlled Areas. TLD use is covered in the training sessions. Users are required to complete BNL’s General Employees Radiological Training (GERT) once every two years. The training can be obtained by reading the GERT Study Guide and passing a ten question multiple-choice test. The test is based on course objectives listed on the first page of the Study Guide. Retraining is provided if anyone fails the test. Users and visitors, trained with GERT at the Tandem Van de Graaff may only use their TLD at the Tandem Van de Graaff. Entrance to any other radiologically controlled areas at BNL requires additional training.

A person working at the C-A must attend C-A User Training  or pass a challenge exam before each running period and must have valid Radiological Worker 1 Training.

The local board for the TLDs is located in the main corridor outside the Control Room. The badges should be placed on the board when temporarily leaving the building but should be turned in to one of the Control Room Operators when the current experimentation period is at an end.

In Building 901A, the Controlled Areas are the two Accelerator Rooms and the four Target Rooms. Controlled Areas may change at any time. Personnel are required to check the postings for Accelerator Rooms, Target Rooms, and laboratories before entering.  The conditions and additional radiation safety messages are posted at the entryways to any of the Controlled Areas. The Controlled Areas can be made ?Exclusion Zones’ where personnel are locked out of the area when a known radiation hazard will be present. When these areas are not 'Exclusion Zones’ they can be entered by those with proper training and TLD’s and those they are escorting. Under these conditions the Radiation Safety System will automatically interrupt the beam should the radiation level become excessive (See the Tandem Safety Analysis Document, SAD, Section 4.1.1).   Entry into these areas is for official business only. There are radiation monitors in the areas that will signal the presence of radiation to the people in the Controlled Area.

In the Target Rooms there are amber beacons that will light and rotate. People in these areas must immediately exit the area when these signals become active. The operators in the Control Room also are advised of this condition through the Radiation Monitoring System and will ensure proper response.

Entry into the Accelerator Room additionally requires permission of the Operator-In-Charge (OIC). The OIC will make sure the persons entering the Accelerator Room are properly informed of the safety and interlock systems and the current conditions that may affect safety. There are radiation monitors in these areas that will signal the presence of radiation. In the Accelerator Rooms there are amber beacons and red beacons that will light and rotate. People in these areas must immediately exit the area when these signals become active unless they have specific permits and permission to work under these conditions. The operators in the Control Room also are advised of this condition through the Radiation Monitoring System display and will ensure proper response.

The complete description of the Tandem Radiation Safety System can be found in the Safety Analysis Document (SAD) section 4.1.1 Radiation Safety and Access Control System.

Chemical Information
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) are available for all materials used at the Laboratory and can be found at If you need assistance in accessing MSDSs, you should contact the ES&H Coordinator.

BNL maintains a site-wide chemical inventory with all chemicals ordered through BNL are bar coded on arrival. You must notify the Operations Supervisor, ES&H Coordinator or the Health Physics Office before you bring chemicals or hazardous materials on site so that your plans to use them can be reviewed and the containers can be bar coded.  When you empty a bar-coded container, you must remove the bar code and affix it to an inventory form. These forms are available in the ES&H Coordinator’s Office.

STOP WORK Responsibility
C-A management encourages all Users to identify environmental, safety or health (ES&H) problems and to suggest improvements. If any condition or practice presents an immediate hazard that could reasonably be expected to cause serious injury or environmental harm, then you must stop work until effective corrective action is taken.

The procedure for reporting ES&H concerns is to bring them to the attention of the Group Leader immediately. If you feel issues are not being addressed, then report it directly to the C-A Department Chair.

If a job is stopped as an imminent hazard, it may not be restarted without the authorization of the C-A Department Chair or his designate (C-A Associate Chair for Safety, Division Head, C-A Safety Section Head). Examples of imminent hazards include but are not limited to:

Personal Protective Equipment
Your work may require safety shoes, glasses, lab coats, hardhats, etc. Use of personal protective equipment is required, not optional.

A voucher for safety shoes and glasses can be obtained from the Department Secretary. The ES&H Coordinator must sign the form and you must provide an account number for payment.

Unsupervised children are not allowed in C-A Department areas.

The Department Chair must specifically approve work by minors (those under 18 years old). Minors/children are not allowed in radiologically Controlled Areas, machine shops, or any other area with significant hazards except with explicit approval from the Department Chair. Other approvals may be necessary as well.  Contact the ES&H Coordinator for additional information.

User Questionnaire/Activity Sheets/Experimental Safety Review
Prior to arriving at BNL, Users of the SEU or Film Irradiation Facilities must complete a User Questionnaire that covers operating conditions and use of hazardous substances. The questionnaire must be returned so that any evaluation, formal review and mitigation of hazards can occur before beam time.

If you are responsible for a new activity, you must obtain an Activity Sheet from the ES&H Coordinator’s Office.  Complete the sheet, post a copy on the door of your work area, and return a copy to the ES&H Coordinator.  He/she will determine whether the activity requires additional review before it can proceed.

Experimental safety review takes time! To avoid delay in your project, inform the Group Leader, Operations Supervisor or ES&H Coordinator of your plans well in advance.

It is necessary for all building personnel to be familiar with the following information about how to respond to emergencies and to alarms so that they can protect themselves, their co-workers and emergency response personnel.

Discovering an Emergency
If a building occupant is aware of an emergency in the building, he should:
    Initiate an alarm by doing one of the following.
        Pulling the nearest fire alarm box.  This will result in the fastest response by the Laboratory Emergency Force.  The alarm boxes may  be used for any type of emergency.  However, the alarm boxes in the Control Room, the Electrical Equipment Room, and the corridor by the Control Room door activate the Halon system.  Therefore, they should be used only for fires in those areas.  A backup call should be made to 911 or 2222 after any alarm box is pulled.

        Calling 911 or 2222 and reporting the type of emergency and its location.

        Pushing one of the "Emergency Stop" buttons located in the Accelerator Rooms and Target Rooms.  This will result in an immediate call to 911 or 2222 by the operator on duty as well as a shutdown of certain accelerator functions.  It is not the preferred response to an emergency except in cases where immediate shutdown of the machine or local exclusion of the beam is desirable.

    Warn others in the immediate area. The building P.A. system may be used to notify building occupants of an emergency or to give instructions.  It does not currently extend to the portion of the building occupied by the Advanced Accelerator Group.

    Notify the Local Emergency Coordinator.

    Initiate emergency steps to identify, isolate or control the source of the emergency if he has been trained in the action and only if there is no risk to anyone.


SITE-WIDE: Should an emergency at the Laboratory occur requiring site wide evacuation the following emergency evacuation procedures are to be followed:

Continuous sounding of the BNL siren for 5 minutes calls for all non-emergency personnel to report to the designated Assembly Area (Control Room in 901A) and await further instructions. Personnel in TTB should leave the tunnel by the nearest normal exit and proceed to the assembly area of Building 901A or of any major building.  Personnel in the Power Supply Houses should proceed to the assembly area of Building 901A or of any major building.

Intermittent sounding of the BNL siren for 5 minutes signals that all employees shall evacuate the Laboratory site immediately.  Building 901A is in Evacuation Zone 1.

(Note: The laboratory tests the site sirens every Monday at 12 Noon.)

The Plectron (an emergency communications device) is located in the TVDG Control Room.  The Local Emergency Coordinator is responsible for carrying out instructions from the Plectron and for relocating it during an emergency, if necessary. The telephone number for emergency communications is x4581.  It is continuously monitored during normal working hours.

BUILDING: An emergency in Building 901A is indicated by the sounding of Local Emergency signals.

    CONTINUOUS ringing of bell. Check to be sure you are not in danger. Evacuation is not required if there is no danger in your vicinity.

    INTERMITTENT ringing of local fire alarm bells and/or announcement via building P.A. system.  All persons shall immediately leave the area by the nearest exit and proceed without delay to the lawn areas to the East and West of the main entrance to Building 901A along Cornell Avenue.

SMOKING IS PROHIBITED IN ALL LABORATORY BUILDINGS AND VEHICLES. The only exceptions are the residential units and the smoking section of the Brookhaven Center Club.

Occurrence Reporting
BNL is required by DOE regulation to report occurrences that have an adverse impact on the safety or environment of our workplace and events that result in significant damage, property loss, or downtime. This requires you, as an employee, to report such occurrences to your supervisor, Department management or ES&H Services within 2 hours of the event. This also applies to weekends and holidays. More information is listed in the ES&H Standard 1.1.0.

As a rule of thumb, you should immediately report to your supervisor or to department management any significant event.  These events could include injury, accident, breach of rules, significant equipment malfunction, loss or damage.

Occurrences to be reported include:

  1. Release of radioactive or hazardous materials (e.g. oil, gasoline,chemicals) into the air, sewer or land.
  2. Internal or external threats to safety, security, environmental or health protection, or the ability of a facility to operate (e.g. bomb threats, water leak with potential serious equipment damage)
  3. Degradation of environmental, safety, security, or health conditions (e.g. malfunction in a radiation monitor or fire alarm)
  4. Personnel injury or significant lost workdays;
  5. Personnel contamination, assimilation, or exposure;
  6. Onsite or offsite contamination of hazardous or radioactive materials
  7. Violation of safety, environmental, or health administrative limits; (e.g. radiation exposure above the department’s administrative control limit of 100 mRem per day or up to 200 mRem per day with first line supervisor authority on a  Radiation Work Permit )
  8. Operational procedural violations, including maintenance and administrative procedures which have the potential to impact the safety, security, environmental or health performance or operation of a facility;   (e.g. Unsafe use of a crane or forklift)
  9. Identification of actual or potential defective items, materials,or services, including defects identified by subcontractors and suppliers, that could impose a substantial safety hazard (e.g. counterfeit parts resulting in a dangerous condition)
  10. Unanticipated significant delay or cost in achieving programmatic objectives;
  11. Loss or damage to property caused by DOE operations or loss or damage to DOE property (e.g. Theft, vandalism)



Directory  Service    Contact  Email Phone
Chairman D. I. Lowenstein  
Deputy Chairman W. T. Weng 2135
Associate Chair for Safety E. Lessard 4250
Training Coordinator John Maraviglia  
Training Office Letesha Smith 4772
Environmental and Waste Management Pete Stillman 7520 Pager 4234
ES&H Coordinator Asher Etkin 3271 Pager 4210
ES&H Services Representatives Charles Schaefer 4660
Health Physics Office Greg Herman 5528
Quality Assurance Rep. (DQAR) Dave Passarello 7277 Pager 7238
Van de Graaff
Group Leader Jim Alessi 7563
Liason Physicist Chris Gardner 4537
Group Leader Peter Thieberger 4004
Operations Supervisor Chuck Carlson 5261 Pager 5604
Building Manager, 901A Chuck Carlson 5261 Pager 5604
Chief Electrical Engineer  Chuck Carlson  5468
Chief Mechanical Engineer Louis Snydstrup 7222
Control Room Hans Abendroth 4581/4584
Group Secretary Sandy Asselta 4550
Quality Assurance Rep. (DQAR) Chuck Carlson 4559
TLD/Health Physics Office Services      
Accelerator Group
Group Leader Robert Palmer  
Group Safety Supervisor Harold Kirk 3780
Individuals With
ES&H Responsibilities
For The Entire Building
ALARA Coordinator Chuck Carlson 5261 Pager 5604
ES&H Coordinator for TVDG Asher Etkin 4006 Pager 5605
ES&H Services Representative      
Local Emergency Coordinator Chuck Carlson 5261 Pager 5604
Tandem Advisory Committee John Benjamin 4579
Tandem Advisory Committee Chuck Carlson 5261 Pager 5604
Tandem Advisory Committee Chuck Carlson 5468
Tandem Advisory Committee      
Tandem Advisory Committee      

11:28 AM 10/7/04

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