IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


Research units

Environmental Modelling Laboratory (LM2E)

The Environmental Modelling Laboratory (LM2E) is located in Cadarache, near Marseille. Under the direction of Marie Simon-Cornu, it has nine permanent members (eight research engineers and a secretary) and is currently hosting a PhD student and a postdoc. 






Context and research themes

LM2E is part of the environmental risk research and assessment department (SERIS), which is assigned to the director for the environment in the Radiation Protection-Environment Unit (PRP-ENV). Main research areas covered include spatiotemporal analysis of radionuclide concentrations in the environment, modelling of radionuclide transfer and assessment of risk to ecosystems and human populations.


Research axes


Research objectives of the LM2E include:

  • development of operational modelling tools to assess radionuclide concentration as a function of time and potential impact on all biosphere compartments as a result of accident and chronic releases;
  • development of models describing main mechanisms influencing the path of pollutants due to nuclear applications (radionuclides and associated chemical substances) in Europe;
  • development and operation of databases bringing together radioecological settings and environmental descriptions required for models developed elsewhere;
  • participation in laboratory and/or field research in order to enrich these databases and validate models;
  • mutual comparison of corresponding parts of developed models with models from various sources;
  • development of methods and tools to justify numerical choices inherent in modelling, such as the selection of input data, and mastery of uncertainty and reliability level of models;
  • participation in research and assessment programmes to manage post-accident situations, especially with regard to modelling transfers of radionuclides in the biosphere;
  • making its technical skills available as part of IRSN’s emergency response;
  • participation in departmental and interdepartmental training efforts on the content and implementation of the environmental impact study for regulated nuclear facilities;
  • participation, in the framework set by the research unit, in national and international assessments and discussions (including as part of provided services) relating to environmental risk assessment related to the presence of pollutants from nuclear applications and the contribution of modelling in this area.


Specialties and researchers


Researchers and engineers

Marie Simon-Cornu (head of laboratory)

Karine Beaugelin-Seiller (engineer-researcher, deputy laboratory head)

Patrick Boyer (engineer-researcher)

Marc-André Gonze (engineer-researcher)

Séverine Le Dizes-Maurel (engineer-researcher)

Jean-Michel Métivier (engineer-researcher)

Christophe Mourlon (engineer-researcher)

Valérie Nicoulaud (engineer-researcher)


PhD student

Mohamadou Sy (October 2012-October 2015)



Partnership and research networks


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Environmental Modelling Laboratory
BP 3
13115 Saint-Paul-Lez-Durance Cedex
By phone: +33 (0)4 42 19 96 00


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