Date: March 3, 2010
Editor: A. Ackerman
A recent event involving recertification of the beam line interlock systems highlights the communication challenges that can occur during maintenance and operation of the NSLS. The NSLS is a complex facility and work on systems often requires coordination between different functional groups within the department. A key component of that coordination and planning is clear communications. This has long been recognized and there are several established review and permitting requirements for completion of complex tasks designed to facilitate that communication, but no process is perfect and this highlight is intended to remind the reader of the challenges and importance of assuring that everyone involved in a project has the same information.
The event here involved modifications to the X-ray ring interlock systems to install a master reset for clearing faults that result from electrical power interruptions or from work completed during maintenance periods. The new reset will allow the faults to be cleared from X-ray Security Rack and so forego having to reset at each individual beam line. The work was planned, a design review was completed, an Interlock Working group meeting was held, and permits were exercised yet still not everyone had the same understanding of the scope of work and differences in installation at the beam lines resulted in some beamlines being enabled without the proper recertification. Once realized, the appropriate recertification was completed with no adverse finding so all the lines operated with full interlock protection.
Some points to consider:
There is much detail absent in this short highlight. Anyone interested in learning more about this event is encouraged to contact any member of the NSLS Interlock Working Group.