The Cherbourg-Octeville Radioecology Laboratory (LRC) is located on the Cherbourg-Octeville campus of the University of Caen in the northern part of the Cotentin peninsula. Directed by Denis Maro, it includes 15 permanent staff members: eight engineers, six technicians and a secretary, in addition to PhD students and postdocs.
Context and research themes
LRC is assigned to the director for the environment in the Radiation Protection-Environment Unit (PRP-ENV). Its main research area concerns radionuclide transport and transfer in the environment.
Research objectives of LRC include:
- identification, quantification and understanding, using controlled environment and field experiments, of phenomena involving transport, transfer and accumulation of pollutants from nuclear applications (radionuclides and associated chemical substances) in and between marine, estuarine, atmospheric and coastal compartments, and their effects;
- quantification and understanding of the evolution of radioactivity levels in marine, estuarine and terrestrial ecosystems through field campaigns and experiments;
- development of models describing the main mechanisms that affect pollutants resulting from nuclear applications (radionuclides and associated chemical substances) in marine environments, including the English Channel, North Sea and Bay of Biscay;
- participation in the metrology network of the Environmental Sample Processing and Metrology Department (STEME) and its comparison exercises;
- collection of environmental monitoring samples and contribution to the use of monitoring systems located in the north field workshop and LRC, for the Environmental Radioactivity Analysis and Monitoring Department (SESURE);
- participation in radioecological research performed in nuclear sites in northwestern France in coordination with SESURE;
- making its technical skills available as part of IRSN’s emergency response;
- 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 concerning the presence of pollutants from nuclear applications, particularly for marine environments.
Specialties and researchers
Researchers and engineers
Denis Maro (laboratory head)
Pascal Bailly Du Bois (engineer-researcher)
Olivier Connan (engineer-researcher)
Bruno Fiévet (engineer-researcher)
Claire Godinot (engineer-researcher)
Philippe Laguionie (engineer-researcher)
Luc Solier (engineer-researcher)
Olivier Cazimajou (technician)
Didier Hébert (technician)
Serge Le Cavelier (technician)
Medhi Morillon (technician)
Marianne Rozet (technician)
Claire Voiseux (technician)
Marianne Lamotte (secretary)
Facilities and techniques
- Experiment area with radioactive tracers and a supervised area
- Field workshop area located at the north of the La Hague reprocessing plant for in situ experiments on transfer in prairie environments
- Mobile laboratory van
- Workshops for preparing and conditioning environmental samples
- Field sampling and measurement equipment
- Low level nuclear and non-nuclear metrology: spectrofluorimeter, impactors, sonic anemometers, quantitative PCR, etc.
Partnerships and research networks
Universities: Caen, Rouen, Strasbourg, Marseille, Bordeaux
ECN Nantes, IFSTTAR Nantes, IRSTV Nantes, CSTB Nantes, INRA Bordeaux, LPGP, SUPELEC, IRPHE Marseille, CORIA Rouen, Ifremer Brest, CEDRE, Agence Eau Seine Normandie, GIP Seine Aval, CNRS Roscoff, INS, RPII Dublin (Ireland), CEFAS Lowestoft (UK), CCSN Ottawa (Canada), ISAC Lecce (Italy), JAEA (Japan), etc.