IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety

About IRSN

IRSN : Who are we

IRSN, a public authority with industrial and commercial activities, was set up under Article 5 of French Act No. 2001-398 of May 9, 2001, enacted through Order No. 2002-254 of February 22, 2002. This Order was amended on April 7, 2007.

The Institute is placed under the joint authority of the Ministries of Defense, the Environment, Industry, Research, and Health.

It is the nation’s public service expert in nuclear and radiation risks, and its activities cover all the related scientific and technical issues. Its areas of specialization include the environment and radiological emergency response, human radiation protection in both a medical and professional capacity, and in both normal and post-accident situations, the prevention of major accidents, nuclear reactor safety, as well as safety in plants and laboratories, transport and waste treatment, and nuclear defense expertise.

IRSN interacts with all parties concerned by these risks (public authorities, in particular nuclear safety and security authorities, local authorities, companies, research organizations, stakeholders’ associations, etc.) to contribute to public policy issues relating to nuclear safety, human and environmental protection against ionizing radiation, and the protection of nuclear materials, facilities, and transport against the risk of malicious acts.


  • Monitoring environmental radiation and participating in radiological emergency response situations.
  • Human radiation protection.
  • Prevention of major accidents in nuclear facilities.
  • Reactor safety.
  • Safety in plants, laboratories, transport, and waste treatment.
  • Nuclear defense expertise.


Workforce (as of December 31, 2015)

IRSN employs around 1,827 people, including many specialists, engineers, researchers, physicians, agricultural engineers, veterinary surgeons and technicians, as well as experts in nuclear safety, radiation protection and control of sensitive nuclear materials. 


304 € millions spent by IRSN in 2015 :

  • 40.7% of budget devoted to research,
  • 49.4% of budget allocated to technical support and public service missions.
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