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IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


Fields of activity

Environmental exposure

Environmental monitoring

Testing a “Teleray” new-generation beacon.IRSN is responsible for performing radiological monitoring throughout France. For this purpose, the Institute has monitoring networks that make use of advanced technology and implement equipment that is currently being updgrated.

In order to fulfill its task of monitoring human exposure and environmental radioactivity as efficiently as possible, IRSN strives to improve the quality and reliability of the tools and methods it uses for measuring ionizing radiation.

As a "nationale reference laboratory" (LNR) for the laboratories of the French general directorate for food safety (DGAL) and directorate for competition, consumer rights, and protection against fraud (DGCCRF), IRSN provides them with technical training to develop their skills and know-how. IRSN also organizes laboratory proficiency testing on the measurement of test specimens representative of environmental or agri-food samples.

A standard is a sample of radioactive material to be used either as a reference for device or as a test sample for laboratories Learn more about the advanced measurement exercise called “interlaboratory comparison”  : Watch the video

 

 

Topics IRSN worked on in 2015:

  • Teleray monitoring network: finalization of the installation of the new environmental radioactivity monitors provided for in he 2010 modernizaion plan
  • Validation of new protocols for fast analysis of uranium, thorium, plutonium, neptunium, americium and strontium

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

Topics IRSN worked on in 2014:

  • Teleray monitoring network: finalization of the deployment of new-generation sensors
  • Development of devices for measuring uranium in water
  • New methods for tritium measurement

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

Topics IRSN worked on in 2013:

  • Study on the radiological quality of bottled drinking water
  • Survey of dietary habits around the Bure site

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

Topics IRSN worked on in 2012:

  • Report on the radiological state of the enviromnent in France
  • Deployment of new Teleray sensors
  • Development of two in-situ contamination characterization tools
  • Development of CODAC, an assessment tool to estimate the magnitude of exposure due to criticality accident.

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

Topics IRSN worked on in 2011:

  • Upgrade of the Teleray radiological alert network for better coverage across France
  • New tritium measurement technique
  • Water potability study
  • Radon: transposition of French standards into international standards.

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

 

Environmental studies 

Radiological pollution map of site.IRSN conducts in-depth studies to learn more about and account for the origin of the radioactivity observed in certains regions. IRSN uses its know-how to assess occupational, public and environmental exposure in the event of radiological incidents involving the dispersion of radioactive particules.

In response to requests from industry and government agencies, IRSN also conducts studies on the impact of industrial activities on the environment and population or to assess the industrial pollution of certain sites.

Topics IRSN worked on in 2015:

  • Helping local authorities to manage radon in private homes
  • Radon activity measurements in SNCF railway tunnels
  • Measurement campaigns for radon in water
  • Opinion on the radiological risk at the Vaujours Fort
  • Contribution to the waste rock inventory carried out by Areva.

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

Topics IRSN worked on in 2014:

  • Radiological survey of the Dordogne river drainage basin
  • Presentation of the Rhone Valley radiological survey to stakeholders
  • High radon concentrations in a home in central France: radiological characterization and health risk assessment for the occupants
  • Radon: joint action in the Franche-Comté region

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

Topics IRSN worked on in 2013:

  • Participation in the IAEA 2012-2015 MODARIA program on Modeling and Data for Radiological Impact Assessments

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

Topics IRSN worked on in 2012:

  • Assessment of the long-term impact of former uranium mining sites
  • Rhone Valley radiological survey
  • Preparation for the remediation of the Feursmétal site.

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

Topics IRSN worked on in 2011:

  • Consolidation of data on former uranium mines (MIMAUSA program)
  • Continuation of the national "radium diagnostics" operation launched in 2010
  • Decontamination of part of the Feursmétal site in central France
  • Monitoring of the contaminated St-Maur-des-Fossés site.

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

 

Radioecology / Radionuclide transfer in the environment

Preparing IRSN’s captive balloon for high-altitude tracer gas measurementsIRSN is conducting research in order to expand its knowledge in the fields of dispersion and transfer or radioactive materials in atmospheric, terrestrial and marine environment.

The Institute is working to improve models on the transfer of radioactive substances in the environment by developing two major lines of action: validation of models designed to quantify radionuclide behavior within ecosystems; and justifying the transfer parameter values used in these models. For example, the Institute has developped original experimental techniques and tools :

  • for tracing, sampling and measuring within air masses
  • for the study of the transfer of radionuclides to plants grown in open fields
  • for the assessment of the health impact of radioactive release from nuclear facilities under normal operating conditions.

Topics IRSN worked on in 2015: 

  • Use of data from the Fukushima accident for reducing and modeling uncertainties
  • EDOFU project: in-depth analysis of the measurements performed by various Japanese prganizations
  • Participation in an international radioactivity measurement exercise in the Fukushima region in Japan.

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

Topics IRSN worked on in 2014:

  • Summary report regaring the impact of radiation on ecosystems.

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

Topics IRSN worked on in 2013:

  • Launch of the KELPS project
  • Participation in the European COMET project for coordination and implementation of a pan-European instrument for radioecology.

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

Topics IRSN worked on in 2012:

  • Impact of the Fukushima accident on the marine environment
  • First report of the STAR network
  • Progress in SYMBIOSE scientific validation
  • Studies of uranium behavior in a biological environment
  • Low-dose effects on ecosystems: Research on the effects of radionuclides on birds and frogs in the area affected by the Fukushima accident (Freebird project)
  • Scientific collaboration with Japan.

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

Topics IRSN worked on in 2011:

  • First experiment for the STAR network
  • Report on the Red Forest site (Ukraine): radionuclide migration after 25 years.

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


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