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Scientific news - 2nd semester 2008




First publication in the IRSN's HDR collection


Through the breadth of their scope, the HDR[1] collection of publications targets a wide-ranging scientific audience, hence the wish to make it known to as many people as possible. Written by Sébastien Savoye, "L’apport des traceurs à la compréhension des processus de transport au sein des formations argileuses indurées" (The contribution of tracers in understanding transportation processes in indurated argilaceous formations) is the first book in this collection that will be a valuable source of information for university and industrial researchers, experts and students alike. Available on request.


[1] HDR is a French acronym meaning "Authorization to Direct Research"

 read on
 download or order




Focus on nuclear toxicology in Biofutur


In three of its upcoming issues, the journal Biofutur is featuring nuclear toxicology and the new results obtained as part of the EnvirHom and ToxNuc-E programmes conducted by IRSN and the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). The first article, whose title translates as "From molecules to ecosystems", will be published in September. The following article, to be published in January 2009, will examine the fields of application of nuclear toxicology, and the final article on the major classes of chemical and/or radioactive toxins is slated for September 2009.


 Contacts :

Marie-Thérèse Ménager (CEA) :
Jacqueline Garnier-Laplace (IRSN) :
Max Goyffon (Muséum national d'histoire naturelle) :

 Visit the publisher's site
 More about CEA's ToxNuc-E programme
 More about IRSN's EnvirHom programme



Training through research


IRSN publishes its 2007 report



The 2007 report on training for and through research at IRSN reflects the Institute's proactive policy in this area since 2002. The number of doctoral dissertations prepared at IRSN units continues to grow steadily, as does the number of post-docs. Beyond the numbers, the careful selection of doctoral candidates, the follow-up they receive from the units and the yearly IRSN Thesis Days, where all PhD students present their work to their peers, are bearing fruit as well. Finally, the advisory capacity (in terms of the number of staff members accredited to supervise research) is also expanding — an additional guarantee of high-quality training. These components are all a fundamental part of IRSN's approach to scientific and technical excellence.


 acess to the 2007 report on training for and through research




The IRSN is investing in the national Centre for Industrial Risk


A research partnership convention was signed at the end of April this year between eight scientific organizations, including the IRSN, that have complementary skills in the field of industrial risk control. The objective of this convention is to structure research and technology transfer within the French National Centre for Industrial Risk (PNRI), an institution created by the French government in 1998 at Bourges. The steering of research and technology transfer projects was entrusted to the Bourges Higher National School of Engineering (ENSIB).

The convention will allow a reinforcement of this technological centre, which is dedicated to technological risk control, by encouraging the emergence of joint projects with the various partners. At the same time, the PNRI will enable a pooling of knowledge for the benefit of companies, in various fields including explosions, hydrogen, systems monitoring and reliability, and, finally, crisis management. The IRSN will become involved more specifically in the field of physical phenomena associated with the propagation of waves following an explosion and their interactions with infrastructures.

In addition to the ENSIB and the IRSN, the following organizations are associated with the research convention: the Poitiers Higher National School of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering (ENSMA), the University of Poitiers, the University of Orleans, the Atomic Energy Commissariat (CEA) – Le Ripault (CEA/Le Ripault), the technical Establishment of Bourges – centre for testing and expertise of the French armament procurement agency (ETBS/DGA) and the French National Institute for the Industrial Environment and Risks (INERIS).

 contact the IRSN: Jérôme Hocquet


Non-destructive testing
Cooperation agreement signed between IRSN and NRC


IRSN and the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (US NRC) signed a cooperation agreement in late June 2008 concerning research on non-destructive testing. The research started in June 2008 and will last four years. The objective is to improve ultrasonic inspection of the course-grain austenitic-ferritic materials used in the main pipes of certain nuclear facilities.

The agreement aims to develop simulation tools that take into account the course-grain metal structure of the components. It also aims to develop a classification method for metal structure involving specific in situ ultrasonic measurement. These developments will open the way to using multi-element ultrasonic transducers, comprising multiple, independent piezoelectric elements activated separately. The activation of each element will take into account both the tested component's geometric conditions and data specific to the metal structure, thereby optimising in real time the acoustic beam in the tested material.

In addition to IRSN and NRC, CEA LIST (Laboratory for Systems and Technology Integration) in France and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in the US will also take part in the research.

 description of SAMS (Equipment and Structure Analysis Department), the IRSN unit involved in the agreement
 NRC web site
 IRSN contact: Gérard Cattiaux

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Ouvrage de la collection HDR