IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


Research units

Laboratory for Studies and Expertise on Radioactivity in the Environment (LEREN)

The Laboratory for Studies and Expertise on Radioactivity in the Environment (LEREN, ex-LERCM) is located on two sites, Cadarache and La Seyne sur Mer, both in the south of France. It is directed by Grégory Mathieu.





Context and research themes


LEREN studies the behavior of radionuclides, particularly in the continental environment of metropolitan France and in the Mediterranean marine environment.



Research axes

The laboratory's chief concern is to observe spatio-temporal variations in environmental radioactivity based on the use of:

  • the OPERA network (environmental radioactivity monitoring network)
  • and studies conducted in nineteen EDF nuclear power plants under an IRSN-EDF agreement.


These observations provide the foundations for a conceptual framework for assessing the radioecological sensitivity of the environment exposed to authorized routine or accident-related radioactive release.

Lastly, LEREN meets the demand for expert surveys from the public authorities, local authorities and citizens' associations.



Specialties and researchers


Grégory Mathieu, head of laboratory

Philippe Calmon, engineer
Thomas Chaudet, technician

Julien Faramond, technician
Marc-André Gonze, project manager
Olivier Masson, research engineer

Jean-Michel Métivier, research manager
Christophe Mourlon, research engineer

Daniel Panaget, engineer
Pascal Paulat, technician
Laurent Pourcelot, research engineer
Sophie Reygrobellet, engineer

Marion Ropert, technician
Lionel Saey, engineer
Gilles Salaun, technician

Laetitia Theureau, technician



Partnership and research networks


The network of environmental radioactivity monitoring observatories (OPERA) was set up to provide a regularly updated spatio-temporal reference indicating the activity levels of the main radionuclides found in the atmosphere, river water, and certain bioindicators and food products collected in France.


The network covers all of France and the surrounding marine environment (Celtic Sea, Bay of Biscay, Channel and Seine estuary, North Sea, and Mediterranean, in particular the Gulf of Lions and the Rhone delta).

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Laboratoire mobile : analyse de sédiments Crédits : Richard Mas/IRSN


Grégory Mathieu, head of laboratory



Laboratory for Studies and Expertise on Radioactivity in the Environment (LEREN)

BP 1
13108 Saint-Paul-lez-Durance Cedex



By phone : +33 (0)4 42 19 96 60


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