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. This laboratory was formerly the Laboratory for Continental and Mediterrannean Radioecological Studies. It is directed by Christelle Antonelli.







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


Christelle Antonelli, head of laboratory

Mireille Arnaud, engineer
Mokrane Belharet, PhD student
Philippe Calmon, engineer
Sabine Charmasson, program controler
David Claval, engineer
Alicia Duvier, PhD student
Céline Duffa, engineer and deputy head of laboratory
Yves Dimeglio, technician
Loïc Ducros, PhD student
Frédérique Eyrolle-Boyer, researcher
Franck Giner, technician
Olivier Masson, research engineer
David Mourier, technician
Vanessa Parache, engineer
Pascal Paulat, technician
Laurent Pourcelot, research engineer
Sylvie Roussel-Debet, research engineer
Lionel Saey, engineer
Gilles Salaun, technician
Jackie Tave, PhD student
Hervé Thébault, engineer



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



Christelle Antonelli, head of laboratory



Laboratory for studies and expertise on radioactivity in the environment

BP 1
13108 Saint Paul Lez Durance cedex



By phone : +33 (0)4 42 19 96 60


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