SLAC Today is available online at:

In this issue:
New 3-D Printer Churns Out Complex Prototypes
Safety Today: Changes to SLAC's Radiation Safety Policy
FY09 Budget Requests Announced
Computer Security's Weakest Link

SLAC Today

Tuesday - February 5, 2008

New 3-D Printer Churns Out Complex Prototypes

Gene Anzalone, Steve Lundgren and Kurt Vaillancourt hold some of the prototypes made by the 3-D printer behind them.

To show colleagues how a design for an accelerator component works, designer Gene Anzalone can now carry a lightweight plastic model to meetings. More tangible than a set of design drawings, and more totable than a 35-pound metal model, the working 3-D plastic model of a collimator took about five days to make with the Mechanical Design Department's new rapid prototyping machine, also called a 3-D printer.

Since the Dimension Elite printer arrived in early January, its tea-box-sized printing head has been on the move day and night, whirring and clicking like a home inkjet printer while it automatically builds up models by depositing thin layers of melted plastic, layer by layer. Once engineer Kurt Vaillancourt sets up the printer, which takes very little time, he lets it work unattended, saving money on machinist costs and material costs.

"It's a service for engineers and designers across the lab to study the form, fit and function of their design before cutting them in metal," Vaillancourt said.  Read more...

(Column - Safety Today)

Changes to SLAC's Radiation Safety Policy

SLAC has made several important changes to its Radiation Protection Program. These changes grew mainly from the late 2006 Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Independent Oversight review of SLAC, which urged SLAC to more closely align its Radiation Protection Program with the general DOE model in a few areas. One of these changes introduces an As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) annual dose control goal for Radiological Workers.

ALARA annual dose control goal for Radiological Workers:

SLAC has instituted an ALARA radiation dose control goal below the current administrative annual dose limit of 1,500 mrem. This ALARA dose control goal is a new tool that encourages line management to be aware of their staff members' individual year to date doses, and to ensure ALARA practices are maximized during the annual radiation dose accumulation period of January 1 through December 31. The ALARA annual dose control goal also is intended to empower workers and their supervisors to more directly help control their own occupational doses received at SLAC via use of a target dose lower than the regulatory and site administrative dose limits. The ALARA annual dose control goal is 360 mrem or less from work at SLAC.

For perspective, this goal is equivalent to the average dose that people in the United States receive annually from all natural and medical sources of radiation. Such an annual dose is well below the DOE regulatory occupational dose limit of 5,000 mrem, for which there is no known harm.

These and other changes are now reflected in the updated SLAC Radiological Control Manual and Chapter 9 "Radiological Safety" of the SLAC ES&H Manual.

The updated SLAC Radiological Control Manual also formalizes modifications to how radiation protection is practiced at SLAC. Many of these modifications became official policy at SLAC on June 28, 2007. These practice modifications are:
- Those with only General Employee Radiological Training (GERT) training are no longer allowed unescorted access into Radiation Areas.
- A Radiological Work Permit (RWP) is now required for entry into all Radiological Areas.
- Use of radioactive consumer products (such as thoriated welding rods) is restricted.

More information about this policy can be found in the June 29, 2007, issue of SLAC Today.

For more information, please contact the Radiation Protection Department at x4299.

FY09 Budget Requests Announced

Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman announced President Bush's $25 billion Fiscal Year 2009 budget request for the Department of Energy (DOE), an increase of $1.073 billion over the FY08 appropriation.

Read the DOE Press Release...

Computer Security's Weakest Link

The natural human instinct to help people and accept them at their word—even over e-mail—leaves us vulnerable to attack. The "bad guys" are out to exploit our helpfulness by using various techniques.

One technique employed is mailing "official" looking CDs and DVDs that contain viruses, trojans or rootkits (aka malware) to individuals hoping they put them in their computers. Another trick is to leave a memory stick lying in a hallway or parking lot. The hope is for you to insert it into your computer. As soon as you do, your computer becomes infected.

This sort of social engineering involves deceiving people into revealing confidential information by taking advantage of people who want to be helpful or asking people to respond to phone calls or e-mails from someone who appears to be in authority. Typical examples include requests for your user ID, password or personal information—never reveal your password to anyone. For more information, read Social Engineering Fundamentals, Part I: Hacker Tactics.

Remember, SLAC is an open lab and we want it that way. However, with that openness, a person walking into the laboratory may not always have your best interests at heart. Not only has equipment been stolen in the past, but we have also seen an unattended computer (with a screen that is not password protected) being used to send e-mail appearing to be from the person logged into the computer. Always protect your session by locking your computer or your door when leaving your computer unattended.

The laboratory staff is constantly being tested by both friendly Department of Energy audits (which exist to help us) and unfriendly hackers.

Be prepared and aware. Sec_rity is not complete without "u"!


Access (see all)

(see all | submit)

 Lab Announcements

Community Bulletin Board

News (see all | submit)

dividing line
(Office of Science/U.S. DOE Logo)

View online at