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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).

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.
However, it is possible, in exceptionally case, to modify some samples or to bring in some more samples, in the Main Proposer menu ("Safety forms") in the SUN set, no later than 1 month before the beginning of your experiment.

Beware: concerning the radioactive samples, this declaration of modifications can be rejected, for example:

  • because of a too short delay in order to perform a successful analysis by the radioprotection agents,
  • because of the nature of the sample itself.


Any request about modifications made after this delay will not be accepted.
Please, read Specific cases of safety, section, to know much about this process.

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).


Chemistry experiments


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.



Ancillary equipement declaration and Importing ancillary equipements / samples


Any ancillary equipment and/or samples brought by users has to be declared.
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.


Some users will need their own material to carry out their experiments. 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.


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.

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 by the safety group is not essential.


Biological samples classification


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.

Radioactive samples


MARS is the only beamline allowed to receive radioactive samples at SOLEIL for scientific experiments with the synchrotron light source. Radioactive samples that are allowed on MARS beam line are solid samples like metals, crystalline or amorphous samples, sintered powders, wet pastes (e.g. clays) and liquid samples (crystals suspended in solution are also considered as liquids).

Gaseous or powder samples containing traces of radioactive isotopes, no matter how small, are strictly forbidden on all beamlines at SOLEIL, and on MARS beam line as well.

No in-situ modification on the sample of any type (physical, chemical…) is allowed if it is able to produce radioactive releases into the environment during the experiment or throughout the entire stay of the sample at SOLEIL facility.

The dosimeter badge is not necessary. The only instruction to follow is regarding the PSS (Personnal Safety System) which garanties radioprotection :

    * close all chicanes
    * do a search in the hutches


All requirements described here for radioactive samples on MARS beam line are in addition to the general safety requirements which apply for all experiments on SOLEIL beam lines. Please, refer to this link for the general safety rules at SOLEIL. « Safety requirements»

Experimental Families

The different types of experiments that can be authorized on the MARS beam line 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

The MARS beam line capacity for radioactive samples is limited both for each nuclide individually and for the total resulting activity of all samples housed in MARS technical rooms for a given experiment. These limits are defined by the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN – Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire) for each nuclide and experimental family.


For experiments of F0 family, the activity limits are given in PDF icon Tableau I (35.5 KB).

The sum of the activity of each isotope contained in all the samples brought to SOLEIL for a given experiment on MARS beam line should not exceed the limits defined in table I.

Below we define the Q ratio for a given sample with several isotopes or for several samples containing one or different isotopes which should be strictly below which should be strictly below 2.106, with a total activity per sample holder less than 18.5 GBq.

With Ai, the activity of the isotope i and Alimi, the corresponding activity limit of the isotope i, taken from table II

For experiments of F1, F2, F3 and F4 families, the activity limits per isotope are given inPDF icon Table II (28.98 KB)

and refers to the exemption limits coming from French Law article R.1333-18, with an exception with the tritium (3H) for which the activity limit per sample is 15,000 Bq and the total activity stored on MARS beam line is strictly limited to 30,000 Bq.

Thus, for a given project, a single isotope must comply with the following conditions:

The amount of activity of a single isotope in one or several samples should not exceed the threshold limit given in table II, whatever the number of samples and the isotope concentration;

In case of a mixture of different isotopes, the ratio « Q » as defined above should be strictly less than 1.

 Additional radiation safety conditions for radioactive samples proposal acceptance

From a radiation safety point of view, an experimental proposal involving radioactive samples on Mars beam line needs to apply different additional conditions to those described above in order to be authorized by SOLEIL safety group.

The resulting dose rate outside the physical limits of the Mars beam line hutches must be strictly below 0.5 µSv per hour whatever the position of the sample is (stored or on the experimental setup during measurement). Inside the MARS beam line areas, sample characteristics and eventually shielding of the sample holder have to be designed such that radiation dose rates meet radiation hazard area definition of MARS beam line rooms.

This means that:

  • In case of external exposure: Equivalent dose rate should be strictly below 2 mSv per hour;
  • In case of internal exposure: Effective dose integrated within 1 hour should be strictly below 2 mSv.

Tables A1 and A2 below summarize radiation area classification in terms of radiation exposure levels for both external and internal exposure.

Tableau A1: Area classification criteria in terms of radiological hazards (Effective Dose).

Tableau A2: Area classification criteria in terms of radiological hazards (Equivalent Dose).


Another condition is mandatory in order to respect the specific characteristics of the MARS beamline: a ventilation system that ensures, dynamically, the containment of radioactive materials, in case of contamination, inside one room of the MARS beam line. If the containment of the sample holder is totally or partially broken, leading to the dispersion in the room atmosphere of a fraction or the whole activity contained inside the sample holder, the sample(s) activity has to be limited in such a manner that the volumetric activity reached in case of atmospheric contamination is strictly below 32 RCA, with RCA as described in table A1 above.

Finally it is mandatory that the main proposer send all the documents and information required by SOLEIL safety group in due time to both the radiation safety group of SOLEIL (SRP) and the beam line manager in order to agree with French Nuclear Regulation Authority rules.

These documents must be sent to SOLEIL, at least one month before the experiment starts, by the SUNSET or email. Deadlines for the information to be sent to SOLEIL radiation safety group are resumed in the table at the end of this page.

Only if all these conditions are fulfilled by the main proposer will the SOLEIL safety group be able to evaluate and authorize the project on the MARS beam line.



Radioactive samples have to be sealed in a sample holder that must be adapted to the experimental set-up and family foreseen. Sample(s) have to be loaded into the sample holder in the proposer’s home laboratory. Sample holder designed by the proposer and with the agreement of MARS beam line staff will have at least one containment barrier (in case of non-contaminating solid sample) and two containment barriers if the sample has a contaminating risk by itself or by the experimental process. The efficiency of the containment of the sample holder has to be tested and validated with the experimental conditions foreseen and with respect to the sample properties and behavior prior to be accepted on MARS beam line. It is mandatory to provide to SOLEIL Radiation Safety Group a report of the sample holder validation demonstrating its containment efficiency prior to arrival at SOLEIL (i.e. during the proposal deposition on the SUNSET).

The Equivalent Dose Rate of each individual sample in its containment and the equivalent dose rate of the whole sample holder have to be described both at contact and at 1 m without or with shielding if required. If necessary, the shielding has to be precisely described by the proposer. Shielding calculations for the design of the sample holder shielding has to be provided to SOLEIL Radiation Safety Group with details on the application of the ALARA principle. Inside the experimental hall of SOLEIL, all surrounding areas of MARS hutches have to be, and remain, a public zone during the whole stay of the sample on MARS beam line. From arrival to the departure of the radioactive samples, it is mandatory that dose rates outside the MARS beam line enclosures are strictly kept below 0.5 µSv per hour.



Will be sent to SOLEIL, addressed both to MARS beam line local contact designated for your experiment and to SOLEIL radioactive transport officer. When arrived at SOLEIL site, the radiation safety group will perform the mandatory radiological controls prior to authorizing the samples to be taken inside the SOLEIL facility,

Then, samples will be transferred to the MARS beam line in order to be set on the experimental station for the measurements.

At the end of the experiment, samples will be returned to the user’s laboratory. The transport will be organized by the user. For this, users are asked to fill in the form on the sunset with the corresponding values of both A1 and A2 in accordance to the transport regulation law in order to prepare the transport.. (see information : cf. PDF icon chapitre IV des prescriptions de l’AIEA (1.04 MB)).

Samples will be returned to the user’s lab as soon as possible at the end of the experiment and will not, in any case, stay longer than two weeks after the end of the experiment.                                                            

Samples transport have to be scheduled in order to be received at SOLEIL on Mondays or Tuesdays between normal opening hours (e.g. 8h30-12h30 and 13h30-16h30). Samples should not be sent to SOLEIL earlier than one week before the start of the experiment and later than 24h before the start of the experiment.

Dose rates outside the parcel with radioactive samples and outside the vehicle used for transport have to fulfill French Regulation Limits for both contact and distance measurements described here: arrêté « transport » - TMD.

Handling conditions

There is no possibility to prepare or modify sample or sample holder after its arrival at SOLEIL.

Any movements of the sample holder (exiting storage lock, internal MARS BL transfer, set-up on experimental station…) have to be done, with at least two people present, during working hours (Monday-Friday; 8h30-16h30) in order to ensure that a radiation safety agent is on site.


Sample description online by SUNSET

Data for each nuclide contained in each sample (mass, activity,…) have to be properly fulfilled (mandatory fields).

Nuclide ID has to be done for each sample in the following form:

Chemical symbol (1st capital letter, 2nd lower-case letter) ;

Mass number;

If necessary, followed by « m » for « metastable » property or « + » or « sec » if nuclide father and daughters are in equilibrium, without space (Ex: U238+, Ag110m).

Each sample has to be individually declared and precisely described for a corresponding sample holder declared for either single sample holder or multiple samples holder. Data for a sample holder can be automatically duplicated on an individual sample declaration page by using the key: [use as model] allowing declaring the sample holder only once.

The proposer is invited to enter in contact with the MARS beam line staff as soon as possible for any information or help prior to declaring and posting his proposal on SUNSET. It is also deeply encouraged that the proposer be in touch with the radiation safety officer of his laboratory for advice and help about radioactive issues involved by his project for both laboratory staff exposure and SOLEIL staff exposure during the experiment evaluation with respect to applicable regulation laws.

Risk classification of the experiment

Any experiment involving radioactive samples with activities leading to Q >1 will be systematically classified as a red project, with only one exception for project belonging to F0 experimental family exclusively with non-contaminating samples.

For experiments involving contaminating samples or irradiating and contaminating samples, only F0 family projects will be classified as yellow if they fulfil the following conditions:

Q ≤ 1 and ;

The committed effective dose in case of contamination that one can be exposed to during one hour if the sample holder containment is broken must be below 2 mSv, and ;

The maximum predictive individual dose for external exposure must be below 10 µSv for the whole experiment, and ;

The equivalent dose rate (g + b) at contact of the sample holder must be below 650 µSv/h.


Mandatory documents to provide to SOLEIL Safety Group prior to any experiment involving radioactive samples


Use of 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 an on-line 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

The training contains the following items:

  •  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 users answers correctly to all questions.