IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


Research units

Radon Studies and Expertise Section (BERAD)

The Radon Studies and Expertise Section (BERAD, ex-BERAM) is located in Fontenay-aux-Roses, in the Paris Region.





Context and research themes


Radioactivity is everywhere in our environment: in soils (uranium and thorium chains) and in the air (radon). In certain special cases, this radioactivity can be the source of significant exposure levels and can justify the implementation of special arrangements, particularly regulatory ones. First, it is important to be familiar with the behavior of the corresponding radioelements and study the situations in which the population and workers are exposed.


Research axes


The BERAD has the following missions:


  • The carrying out of studies and evaluations to support the public authorities in the following areas:
  1. the evaluation of exposure to radon in buildings and workplaces
  2. the evaluation of sources of exposure and the impact of activities leading to a reinforcement of the natural radioactivity
  3. evaluation of the radiological and dosimetric impact of uranium mining sites and sites and soils polluted by radioactive substances,
  4. support to the public authorities in the drawing up and application of regulations in the above-mentioned areas, particularly via the writing of guides and technical references on the evaluation and management of the associated risks
  • Carrying out analysis and assessment services for industrialists or other players in society in the above-mentioned fields
  • Defining and implementing studies and research on the transport of radon from the subsoil to the atmosphere and the mechanisms by which this gas becomes concentrated in dwellings.
  • Carrying out studies and research to acquire, develop and maintain the skills and tools required for the assessment activities assigned to the unit, relying if necessary on the skills and tools available in the other units of the Health and Environment Pole, particularly concerning the modeling of the transfer of radionuclides and the evaluation of dosimetric impacts related to mining sites and polluted sites
  • Contribution to training courses organized by the IRSN in the field of radon risk management.
  • In addition to the above-mentioned missions, the BERAD provides its assistance, wherever necessary, to the activities of the other units of the SEREN and more generally the IRSN in the field of evaluating exposure to radon and to radionuclide sources present in soils, subsoils, and materials extracted therefrom.



Research team


Géraldine Ielsch, head of laboratory
Laurent Destacamp, manager in risk control assessment
Claire Greau, manager in risk control assessment
Nahla Mansouri, engineer



Facilities and techniques


A metrology laboratory dedicated to the problem of radon in the air, water, and soil,

  • A mobile laboratory to highlight the spatial variation in the activity concentration of radon and the gamma dose rate,
  • Socrate, an autonomous and transportable radioactivity measurement tool, which in particular allows the mapping of gamma dose rates in the field.



Partnership and research networks


  • Scientific and Technical Center for Construction
  • University of Rennes and Brest
  • Association for Technical Coordination in Agriculture (Acta)
  • Agricultural Technical Institutes (ICTA): CTIFL, ITAVI, ITV, ARVALIS, ITP, Institut de l’élevage (farming institute).

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Géraldine Ielsch, head of section



Radon Studies and Expertise Section (BERAD)
BP 17
92262 Fontenay-aux-Roses CEDEX

By phone: +33 (0)1 58 35 80 81


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