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Safety requirements

To access to SOLEIL and facilities, the following safety requirements must be respected.

On SUN set, the main proposer should have:

  • Declared the samples brought and the associated substances used,
  • Selected the sample environment requested,
  • Declared the ancillary equipment brought, if necessary,
  • Described samples preparation method and precised the location of the preparation (support laboratory or beamline).

Every sample, substance and ancillary equipement brought to SOLEIL for an experiment must be declared and selected.

Safety requirements, which may vary depending on the sample type or the equipement brought, have to be respected.

Samples, substances and ancillary equipement declaration


Samples and substances declaration

We remind you that each sample or each sample family as well as eventual ligand(s) have to be declared on-line on SUN set.
Please, pay attention that all samples or substances brought to SOLEIL by users remain entirely under their responsibility and must have been declared on-line and approved by SOLEIL safety group.

Samples declaration is possible:

  • During proposals' submission, you have to declare all the samples you might bring to SOLEIL for your experiment;
  • After proposal approval : it is possible, for exceptional cases, to modify some samples or bring in some more, as "post-declared" samples. It is done in the Main Proposer menu, in "Before experiment" TAB with the "Sample" icon in the SUN set, no later than 1 month before the beginning of your experiment.


Any request about modifications made after this delay will not be accepted.

NB: On SUN set the main proposer should have selected the necessary sample environment according to the beamline, the branch and the experimental station requested (in the "scientific general part" of the proposal).



Ancillary equipement declaration and importation

Some users may need their own equipment to carry out their experiments. 

Any ancillary equipment brought by users must be declared either:

  • During proposals' submission ("Ancilllary" form);
  • After proposal approval : for exceptional cases, it is possible to add an equipment, as "post-declared" 'samples'. It is done in the Main Proposer menu, in "Before experiment" TAB with the "Sample" icon in the SUN set, no later than 1 month before the beginning of your experiment.

Please note that all equipment brought at SOLEIL by users:

  • must be in conformity with French regulations (mechanical, electrical, high pressure, …);
  • remains entirely under their responsibility and must have been declared on-line and approved by SOLEIL safety group.

In any case, the user is invited to contact the beamline manager.

In so far as there is no permanent storage section at SOLEIL, please contact the beamline manager to examine the eventual possibilities.


Please find information about safety proposals classification and the corresponding safety requirements for your experiment:

 - Safety proposals classification

   - Chemical experiment

   - Biological experiment

   - Experiment with a radioactive sample

   - Experiment using lasers

     And every information concerning the safety training.


Safety classification

After the project examination, the safety group will classify your experiment:

Green (no danger): experiment can be carried out.

Yellow (specific danger): safety checking prior to the experiment beginning is required.

Red (identified danger): safety checking prior to the experiment beginning is required and the presence of one user is mandatory on the beamline at any time.

Black : Sample concerned can not be brought to SOLEIL / the experiment cannot be carried out at SOLEIL for security reason


Some safety rules:

- No experiment classified red will start on the week-end or during the night.

- No matter how the experiment is classified, safety group can check at any time the experiment while running.

- Safety Group reserves the right to stop the experiment if safety rules are not respected.

- If the experiment is classified yellow or red, the following particular set up has to be observed:
the experiment cannot start if the Safety Approval Sheet has not been signed by the user, the hall coordinator and the safety group.

- If the experiment is classified green, the signature of the Safety Approval Sheet (SAS) by the safety group is not essential.


Chemical experiment

When you describe your experiment, please give as many details as possible. Describe the following items:

  • The experimental set-up step by step;
  • The quantity of each chemical product (even for the preparation of the sample); the quantity of gas bottles on the beamline is limited to 1 litre for toxic and flammable gases;
  • The instruments to be used;
  • The safety measures to be taken for the reception, preparation and disposal of the sample, when necessary;
  • Safety data sheet.



Biological experiment

The biological samples are classified in 4 classes of risks, from 1 without danger, to 4 a very dangerous sample.
For this classification, the French Legislation of the Ministry of Work and from the committee of genetic engineering is used.

The evaluation of the infectious risks, whose guideline is given in the Directive n° 94-352issued on May 4, 1994 on the protection of workers against the risks generated by the exposure to biological agents, rests on a classification of the biological agents in 4 groups based on their level of risk of infection (Article R 231-61-1).


  • Group 1: Includes biological agents non likely transmitting diseases to human beings.
  • Group 2: Includes biological agents likely transmitting diseases to human beings and regarded as being dangerous for the workers. Their propagation is improbable; a vaccine or an effective treatment is widely available.
  • Group 3: Includes biological agents able to transmit serious illnesses to human beings and considered as being very dangerous for workers. The risk ofpropagation is highly possible, but a vaccine or an effectivetreatment is widely available.
  • Group 4: Includes biological agents capable to transmit serious illnesses to human beings and considered as very dangerous for workers. The risk of propagation is very high, and no vaccine or effective treatment exists.


At SOLEIL only class 1 samples can be used without any restriction. Class 2 samples may be authorized by the Safety Group if the risk of contamination of the workers and of the environment is considered as being negligible. If so, the experiment implying class 2 samples will be systematically classified redand a specific protocol will be imposed by the Safety Group. Its prescription has to be fulfilled without any change.

Samples whose source organism is named in the decree Directive of the 30July 2004 must be declared to the AFSSAPS.

Please contact the Safety Group, for any queries about your samples and about the possibility of making measurements on class 2 samples.


Experiment with a radioactive sample


MARS is the only beamline authorized to receive radioactive samples whose activity is equal to or greater than the exemption thresholds set out in Table 2 of Annex 13-8 of the French Public Health Code.

Only solid radioactive samples like metals, bulk (= massive sample), sintered powders, wet paste film, or liquid form may be allowed to enter on MARS beamline.

Radioactive samples, no matter how low activity is, in powder or gas form are strictly prohibited at SOLEIL.

Apart from the experiments authorized on the MARS line and listed below, any in-situ modification of the samples, brought by users, is strictly prohibited.

The set of requirements described below for hosting radioactive samples on the MARS line complements the standard safety requirements applicable to SOLEIL (refer to "safety instructions" for the classic safety rules applicable to SOLEIL experiments).

Experimental Families


The different types of experiments that can be authorized on the MARS beamline at SOLEIL involving radioactive samples have been classified in five different experimental families as below:

  • F0: experiments at normal pressure and temperature without any external constraint on the sample during the experiment;
  • F1: experiments on micro samples at very high pressure (up to 100 GPa) and very high temperature (up to 2000 K);
  • F2: experiments at very low temperature (10 K < T < 300 K);
  • F3: experiments with chemical or electrochemical reactions (300 K < T < 450 K);
  • F4: experiments at very high temperature (300 K < T < 1800 K).
Upper limit of sample activity


At SOLEIL, the activity undertaken on the MARS beamline for a PROJECT may not exceed the limit value that has been set by the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) and which depends on the radionuclide or radionuclides contained in the samples to be analysed and the family of experiments envisaged by the user.

In any case, the total activity of all radioactive samples stored awaiting use and used on the MARS beamline must be less than 185 GBq. The activity per sample and/or sample holder must be strictly below 18.5 GBq.

For experiment family F0, the activity limits per isotope received on the MARS beamline are given in Table I. The sum of the activities for each isotope contained in all samples brought to SOLEIL should not exceed the limits set out in Table I. And, in all cases, the Q coefficient defined below for a sample containing a mixture of several radionuclides, or for several samples containing different radionuclides must be strictly less than 2,000,000.

As a reminder, the quotient “Q” is used in the case of mixtures of nuclides in the same sample and / or to take into account the activities of isotopes contained in several samples:




With Ai, the activity of isotope i and Alimi, the limit activity corresponding to the exemption threshold of isotope i (Table 2 of Annex 13-8 of the French PHC).

For the experimental families F1, F2, F3 and F4, the activity limits per isotope that may be held and used on the MARS beamline are given in Table II and correspond to a maximum of 200 times the exemption thresholds for the application of Article R.1333-18,  at the  exception of tritium (3H) whose activity is strictly limited to 15 kBq per sample and 30 kBq in total on the MARS line.

In the case of a mixture of radionuclides, the quotient "Q" must be strictly less than 200.

Strict planning and the real-time inventory of samples and activities held by the MARS beamline, in accordance with ASN requirements, therefore imply that users must declare the activities by isotopes of all samples brought to the site for the experiment. This information should be provided to SOLEIL no later than 1 month before the start of the experiment.


Storage Conditions


Samples (or sample holders) of biological and/or environmental interest for experiment families F0 and F2 may be held either at temperatures between 273 K and 298 K or at temperatures between 193 K and 273 K.

Other samples (or sample holders) for these experiment families must be kept under ambient conditions of temperature and pressure.


Additional radiation safety conditions for radioactive samples proposal acceptance


In order for a proposal to be accepted from the point of view of safety and radiation protection, a number of additional conditions are required, in particular with regard to the properties and characteristics of the sample(s) subject to the experiment.

The dose rate emitted by the sample during its storage on the MARS beamline as well as during its stay on the experimental station(s) of the line must be compatible with the radiological area classification in force at SOLEIL.

When the sample is on the MARS beamline, the equivalent dose rate outside the MARS beamline should be strictly less than 0.5 μSv/h.

Inside the MARS beamline, the characteristics of the sample and possibly of the shielding of the sample holder should be such that the equivalent dose rate is maintained within the limits compatible with the radiological area classification of the experimental hutch, which in no case should exceed the values corresponding to a yellow controlled area.


Tableau A1 : Radiological area classification according to exposure levels



(1) If both external and internal exposition risks are present, one must consider the sum of resulting effective doses.

(2) RCA is the atmospheric reference concentration level for an isotope or a mix of several isotopes (Bq/m3) that can induce in one hour a committed effective dose of 25 µSv.

In addition, in order to comply with the characteristics of the nuclear ventilation implemented  in the MARS beamline hutch, all the samples brought for the experiments must be dimensioned so that in the event of breach of containment and dispersion of all or part  of the sample(s) in one or other of the hutch of the line, the suspended activity concentration is such that the number of RCA in case of atmospheric dispersion is strictly less than  32.

Finally, in order for the submitted proposal to be authorized by the SOLEIL safety group, it is essential that the main proposer ensures the provision of the documents and information expected by the Radiation Protection Section (SRP) in time (see Table 2 at the end of the document) in compliance with the requirements of the Nuclear Safety Authority applicable to SOLEIL.




The samples will be placed in a sample holder compatible with the family of experience envisaged at the applicant's facility. The sample holders defined by the applicant in consultation with the MARS line team will present at least one simple containment (non-contaminating solid sample) or a double containment as soon as the sample presents a risk of contamination (intrinsic and/or linked to experiment).

This containment must have been the subject of a study of resistance to the experimental conditions envisaged demonstrating the effectiveness and tightness of the containment over the entire duration of the stay of the sample holder on the MARS line. In accordance with ASN requirements, this containment validation test report should be sent to the SOLEIL SRP in advance when the experimental project is submitted.

The equivalent dose rate of the sample (and sample holder if applicable) in its containment, outside the transport package, should be specified, on contact and at 0.3 m, without shielding and with shielding if necessary, specifying the characteristics of this shielding. The shielding calculations for the design of sample holder (which must respect the principle of optimization of radiation protection) will be transmitted to the SRP of SOLEIL. It should be noted that some parts of the preparation hutch (LEN) and experiment hutch (LEX) of the MARS beamline may be classified punctually in a controlled zone (yellow maximum). It is recalled here that any area outside the MARS line (in the experimental hall) must remain in an unregulated area from the arrival of the samples on the MARS line, throughout the duration of the experiment and until they are returned to their laboratory of origin.




The samples should be sent to SOLEIL addressed to the local contact of the MARS beamline. Upon arrival at the SOLEIL site, the SRP will carry out the regulatory radiological controls prior to their transfer to the MARS beamline for the experiment.

The return transport of samples to the origin laboratory will be organized by the user, under the responsibility of SOLEIL for samples belonging to class 7 of ADR, as defined by the regulations. The samples analysed at SOLEIL will leave SOLEIL in the shortest time after the end of the project. No sample will be considered as "waste" to be managed by SOLEIL.

The transport of samples will be organized in such a way that their reception on site takes place on working days between 8:30 and 12:30 or between 13:30 and 16:30, at least 24 hours before the start of the experiment. As far as possible, samples will be returned to their origin laboratory as soon as possible at the end of the experiment.  

The equivalent dose rates in contact and at a distance of the package and the transport vehicle must imperatively comply with the TDG regulations in force.


Handling conditions


Under no circumstances will radioactive samples be prepared at SOLEIL. Sample handling (exit from the safe, internal transfer, installation on the experimental station, etc…) will be carried out, in the presence of 2 people, including at least one SOLEIL employee, during SOLEIL's working hours in order to guarantee the presence of an SRP agent on the SOLEIL site.


Declaration of samples destined for the MARS beamline using SUNset


The data for each radionuclide (mass, activity, etc.) must be filled in (mandatory information).
The name of the radionuclide(s) should be filled in, for each sample (one form per sample), in the following form:

  • chemical symbol (1st capital letter, 2nd lower-case letter);
  • mass number;
  • where applicable, the symbol "m» signifying the character “metastable" or "+" or “sec" if it is a parent radionuclide in equilibrium with its daughter nuclides, all without spaces (e.g. U238, Ag110m).

If several samples are on the same sample holder, each sample must be declared individually indicating in which sample holder it is installed for the experiment. However, all data concerning the sample holder can be automatically transferred to each new individual sample declaration form (to duplicate the form: click on [use as model]).

The user is strongly advised to contact the MARS beamline staff if he/she needs any information useful for the proposal as well as the radiation protection adviser on whom he depends in his laboratory for advice on elements concerning radiation protection aspects. This is to ensure that the classification of users (unexposed workers or workers classified in category A or B because of their exposure to ionizing radiation) by the employer is established in compliance with the applicable regulations in force.


Prerequirements for ensuring prevention


No later than one week before the start of the experiment, users should communicate the following information to SOLEIL's CRP:

  1. The contact details of their radiation protection advisor (CRP) at the CRP of SOLEIL;
  2. Medical aptitude and the classification of users vis-à-vis ionizing radiation;
  3. The certificate of training in radiation protection for users classified in category B or A or the certificate of information for unclassified users;
  4. For unclassified users, a copy of the employer's attestation authorizing people to work in a supervised or controlled area;
  5. A copy of the user's ASN authorization mentioning the radionuclides authorized for holding / handling and their authorized handling location.

The user’s employer should ensure individual dosimetry monitoring using passive dosimeters. SOLEIL provides users working on MARS beamline with an operational dosimetry.

For experiments on irradiating samples for the persons classified B or A participating in the experiment, according to the results of the dosimetry evaluation, the CRP of the users provides SOLEIL with the following information: surname, first name, date of birth, social security numbers and Siret number of the company for entry into the SYGID operational dose management software.


Table 2: Mandatory documents to provide to SOLEIL Safety Group prior to any experiment involving radioactive samples.


Experiment using lasers

All lasers, independently of the safety class, must be declared to the safety group.

The lasers from class 1 to class 3a must be clearly indicated by warning signs.

Laser class 3b

Experiments including laser class 3b have a yellow safety approval sheet. Safety goggles must be worn as soon as the laser is on. Le laser beam must be isolate and each access of the experiment area must be equipped with warning signs.

Laser class 4

Experiments including lasers class 4 have a red safety approval sheet. An appropriate safety system is mandatory. Before the laser is used, a safety visit will be carried out by the safety group in order to check that everything that has been requested is operational. At the end of the visit, an authorization to use the laser will be given to the beamline manager.

Safety goggles must be worn as soon as the laser is on.



Safety training

Please note that the completion of a safety training is mandatory before accessing the beamline.

The safety training can be completed on line via the SUN set.

If one of the users doesn’t complete the on-line safety training before his arrival, he will have to spend 20 minutes on the spot for the training.

When do you have to do the safety training?

Please, complete the safety training before coming at SOLEIL on-line on SUN Set.  


The safety training is valid for one year. So each year at the anniversary date , you are requested to complete again the safety training.

Content of the Safety training
  •  SOLEIL Safety organization
  •  Safety Approval Sheets
  •  Fire protection
  •  Pacemaker process and magnetic fields
  • Cryogenic risk
  •  Risk of anoxia
  • Ionizing radiation
  •  Personal Safety System (PSS) training
  •  What to do in case of accident / Procedure of evacuation
  •  Chemical safety - Electric risk
  • Biological safety
  • Mechanical risks
  • Non ionizing radiation


Validation of the Safety Training

At the end of the training, the user is requested to answer to the 10 questions.

If the user makes a mistake, he or she has to read the corresponding chapter. And then to answer to a new question related to the subject.
The training is validated if the user answers correctly to all questions.