IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


Theses in progress

Development and implementation of technical reference bases for regulating nuclear risks: recommendations relative to the risk of flooding

Host laboratory: ​​Human and Social Sciences Laboratory (LSHS)

Beginning of the thesis: October 2014

Student name: Michaël MANGEON

Subject description




This thesis, in the field of Management Science, aims to analyze the development of a regulatory framework relative to risks, over the long term (1960-2016), by looking at the related regulatory instruments (regulations, guidelines, etc.).


Starting from the premise that a review of the related instruments can be used to track changes over time in the regulatory framework relative to nuclear risks, our case study focuses on the regulatory instruments related to the risk of flooding, a representative case in light of past events (Le Blayais, Fukushima). We are particularly interested in the design of instruments by the organizations responsible for safety (IRSN, ASN and operators) and how they are "put to the test"" by the operators at nuclear facilities.


The research methodology used in this study has led us to analyze a very large amount of archive documents, produced between 1960 and 2016, combined with interviews with people involved in developing these instruments. Two specific cases (Le Blayais NPP and the Tricastin nuclear site) are the subject of more in-depth analysis (observations and interviews).


By seeing these developments in light of their socio-historical context, and with in-depth analysis of those involved (regarding knowledge, methods and practices), we aim to identify the specific workings of the regulatory framework during the 1970s and 1980s, as well as more recent developments.


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