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Product Code: ILSC2009_C103

Laser Safety Management for the ORION High Intensity Laser Facility
Graham White, Awe; Reading Great Britain
Steve Melton, AWE; Reading Great Britain
Presented at ILSC 2009

This paper describes the continuing development of safety arrangements for Project ORION. ORION is a high intensity MOPA configuration Nd doped glass laser facility for plasma physics research, currently in construction at AWE in the UK. In a four storey building measuring some 100m long by 60m wide by 30m high, the facility includes 10 long-pulse beams of 300mm aperture delivering 5kJ in 1ns at 351nm to target and 2 short-pulse beams of 600mm aperture utilising CPA to deliver 1PW each at 1054nm in 0.5ps pulses. The building works are finished, installation of the laser components is nearing completion and laser commissioning is scheduled to commence in mid-2009.

The laser safety management processes in development for this project are built on the foundation that risk from the in-facility hazards has been reduced to As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP) by the inclusion of engineered protection systems and maintaining personnel exclusion zones at laser shot time. The Safety Management Plan incorporates use of a Laser Safety Training Programme that includes novel virtual reality models of the laser environment. This paper will present the ORION safety management arrangements in the context of the facility design and will include a demonstration of the virtual reality training tools.

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