IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


Research organisation

IRSN's research units

The research conducted at IRSN is “mission oriented” and, by its very nature, multidisciplinary. Its purpose is not only, like all research, to acquire new scientific knowledge but also to diversify or improve the technical applications needed to manage risks and contribute to the development of the Institute’s wealth of expertise. Consequently, research projects are defined, from the outset, as a function of the Institute’s current or future needs to maintain its expertise; these requirements are themselves identified as such through field studies, the result of non-resolved recurring questions, or because it is reasonable to think that the development of nuclear or radiological techniques, combined with more demanding safety requirements, will necessarily lead to new questions being raised. Conducted over more or less lengthy periods, these research programmes tie in with IRSN’s long and medium term plan (PMLT) for major research programmes. 

IRSN’s research organisation is split into three units, each headed by a Research Director.

Human health radiation protection

This unit, headed by Jocelyne Aigueperse and made up of 9 research laboratories, works in the following areas:

  • Biological indicators and dosimetry
  • Ionizing radiations pathologies and therapies
  • Ionizing radiations epidemiology
  • Experimental radiotoxicology 

 List of laboratories 



This unit, headed by Denis Boulaud and made up of 13 research laboratories and offices and 1 research support group, has the following research interests: 

  • Radioelements transfers within the environment
  • Ionizing radiations effects on ecosystems
  • Seismic uncertainties
  • Deep nuclear waste disposal
  • Transfers within nuclear waste disposal facilities


 List of laboratories, offices and support group 


Nuclear safety

This unit, headed by Jean-Claude Micaelli and made up 16 research laboratories and offices and 1 research support group, carries out research in the following fields:

  • Nuclear fuel mechanics and thermohydraulics
  • Nuclear reactor core meltdown accidents
  • Fires in confined environments 
  • Metrology and confinement
  • Neutronics and criticality 


 List of laboratories, offices and support group 

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