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IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


Fields of activity

Assessing the safety of military nuclear systems, nuclear facilities and defense-related transports

IRSN's activities in this area come under a technical support agrement with the French Representative in charge of Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection for Defense-related Activities and Facilities (DSND), operating under the aegis of the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Industry.  

Safety of submarines, aircraft carriers and defense-related military or civil facilities

Emergency drill at the Toulon naval baseIRSN's safety assessments of facilities and equipment operated by the Ministry of Defense, CEA, Areva or EADS covers their entire life cycle, from design and operation to decommissioning and dismantling. It also concerns any major modifications to these facilities and equipment brought about by changes in their activity.

Topics IRSN worked on in 2015:

  • Safety of defense-related military facilities
  • Cadarache naval nuclear propulsion facility: the RES test reactor and the FSMC (fuel manufacturing plant)
  • Marcoule: Commissioning of new facilities and continuation of the dismantling of decommissioned facilities. 

 For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2015 - Chapter Activities.

Topics IRSN worked on in 2014:

  • Commissionning of the cubmarine Suffren
  • Conditions for commissioning the RES test reactor
  • Safety review for the Marcoule laboratory.

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2014 - Chapter Activities.

Topics IRSN worked on in 2013:

  • Complementary Safety Assessments for defense-related facilities
  • Environmental monitoring of defense-related sites
  • Onsite emergency plans and drills
  • Review of safety issues at the dock 8 facilities in the port of Brest
  • Examination of the application for a provisional operating license for the test reactor (RES) at the Cadarache secret basic nuclear installation (INBS)
  • Completion of the safety review of the "Rubis" class nuclear attack submarines
  • Regarding the CEA center in Cadarache: examination of the license application for a new facility for nuclear material storage
  • Regarding the CEA/DAM center in Valduc: examination of the license application for continued operation of plutonium facility, examination of the safety of new or renovated equipment at the uranium and plutonium facilities, start of the safety review assessment for the uranium facility and the solid waste treatment station
  • Regarding the CEA center in Marcoule: examination of the safety review files of the liquid effluent treatment station, examination of the CEA dismantling program for buildings 211 and 214 

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2013 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety.

Topics IRSN worked on in 2012:

  • Complementary Safety Assessments for defense-related facilities
  • Environmental monitoring of defense-related secret basic nuclear installation (INBS) 
  • Safety studies concerning the use of new fuels for nuclear submarines
  • Examination of the application for a provisional operating license for the test reactor (RES) at the Cadarache secret basic nuclear installation (INBS)
  • Examination of the licence application for the tritiated waste storage facility at the CEA/DAM Valduc center
  • Examination of the CEA Valduc center's safety review documentation concerning  the continued exploitation of its plutonium recycling facility
  • Onsite emergency plans and drills.

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2012 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety. 

Topics IRSN worked on in 2011:

  • Regarding the Ile Longue naval base in Brittany: examination of the application for a provisional operating licence for the fuel storage pool, examination of the safety report and preliminary safety studies of the waste treatment plant
  • Regarding the CEA/DAM center in Valduc: Assessments of safety for several new planned facilities 
  • Regarding the CEA Marcoule center: Examination of safety review documents for the liquid effluent treatment plant and for the MAR 400 decladding unit, Examination of the new water intake and discharge permit application (DARPE)
  • Examination of the circumstances and handling of various incidents that occured at the CEA Cadarache center, the CEA/DAM center in Valduc, the Areva NC plant in Pierrelatte, the CEA Marcoule center
  • Examination of documentation relating to the transport of defense-related radioactive materials
  • Onsite emergency plans and drills.

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2011 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety.

Topics IRSN worked on in 2010:

  • Examination of the supporting documentation for the definitive operating authorization request for the next nuclear ballistic missile submarine "Le Terrible"
  • Safety review of the "Rubis" class nuclear attack submarines
  • Safety review of two facilities at the Marcoule center in southern France
  • Assessment of the safety of the future nuclear materials  storage facility of the nuclear propulsion fuel manufactoring plant
  • Onsite emergency plans and drills. 

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2010 - Chapter 03: Activities / Safety.

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