IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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1st semester 2013 scientific news





IRSN signs partnership agreement with UBO and Ifremer


On October 1, 2012, IRSN signed a collaboration agreement with Ifremer - the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea - and UBO - Université de Bretagne Occidentale (University of West Brittany) - to develop a computer code to model the dispersion of radionuclides in the sea in the event of  a nuclear accident. This work should be completed by fall 2013.


The Sterne code (for simulation of radioelement transportation in the marine environment) will focus particularly on predicted radionuclide concentrations in living species found in contaminated areas. For this purpose, IRSN wishes to use Ifremer's Previmer operational system ( , which forecasts marine currents, and benefit from UBO's code development expertise. The agreement is part of IRSN's response to the radioactive contamination observed in the Pacific Ocean following the Fukushima-Daiichi accident in March 2011.


 Find out more about LERCM

 Find out more about Ifremer
 Find out more about UBO





IRSN signs radioecology agreement with AECL


IRSN and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) signed a seven-year collaboration agreement in January 2013 on radioecology and environmental radiation protection. Collaboration will focus on the risks associated with tritium in the environment, particularly its bioaccumulation in aquatic organisms, and the examination of the possible ecological impact. The agreement takes IRSN a step further in its collaboration with AECL in studying the effect of low-dose tritium exposure. Collaboration in this area began in June 2011 with an experimental program on the potential health effects of chronic exposure. These activities are all part of ENVIRHOM, IRSN's low-dose radiation research programme.


 The ENVIRHOM programme





Radiobiology and Radiation Protection Seminar



A Radiobiology and Radiation Protection Seminar will take place on thursday 6th June at 2:30 pm at IRSN. This seminar will be led by Sophie Ancelet on "Évaluation quantitative du risque de leucémie infantile en France attribuable aux impacts potentiels respectifs du radon et des rayonnements tellurique et cosmique". The Radiobiology and radiation protection seminars are scientific meetings organized every month by the IRSN's Human Health Radiation Protection Unit (PRP-HOM). They aim to exchange scientific knowledges in a open and constructive way. They are an information and training gallery for everyone and a privileged place to display PhD student and Post-Doc works. The meeting are generally in French.


 2013 Programme




Symposium Neudos12



The 12th edition of Neudos12 Symposium is organised by the IRSN from 3rd to 7th June 2013, with support from EURADOS (the European Radiation Dosimetry Group). This symposium gathers every 3 to 4 years the international specialists of neutron and ion dosimetry. The symposium will focus on instrumentation and techniques ; complex radiation fields seen in aeronautical and in spatial activities ; neutrons and ions used in medicine ; the interface between physics and biology. The symposium will end with a BioQuart workshop.







Symposium "Water-Rock Interaction"



Organised every three years by the IAGC (International Association of GeoChemistry), this symposium will takes place from 9th to 14th June 2013. It will gather scientists to debate on progress in research on chemical and physics proccesses which control the composition of naturals water-rock systems, to analyse the impact of human intrusions and to propose scientifics contributions for the solution to the concrete problems in modern society. The IRSN publishes with CNRS/ISTerre the abstracts book. A scientific visit on Tournemire will be organized by the IRSN's LETIS after the symposium.






Development of relations with Japan



On the 17th December 2012, the IRSN and the University of Fukushima have signed a cooperation agreement on the control of environmental and health consequences from Fukushima-Daiichi accident, the nuclear safety training and population involvement in post-accident management. In a similar field, an agreement has been signed on the 11th July 2012 with the University of Tsukuba so as to understand, model and quantify the biogeochemical cycle of caesium in forest. Another one is currently active with the University of Rikkyo about the radiations influence on wild species populations, and is linked to FREEBIRD projet.


 See the page on FREEBIRD project


Research programme


Launch of the European CESAM project



On 1 April 2013, the CESAM project (Code for European Severe Accident Management) will be launched under the 7th Research and Development Framework Programme of the European Commission. Coordinated by the GRS - the German counterpart of the IRSN - and with strong support from the IRSN, this project involves 16 other institutes, 15 of which European, and will last four years. It seeks to develop the software package ASTEC to make it better suited for analysing the management of core meltdown accidents and to aid decision-making in crisis situations, in line with the lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster. ASTEC is a system for modelling Generation II and III reactor meltdown accidents, developed by IRSN and its German counterpart GRS for safety analysis purposes. Data sets will be compiled for the main types of European reactors (pressurised water reactors, boiling water reactors and CANDU). The project will also make it possible to interface ASTEC with tools for assessing the impact of an accident on the environment and to develop a method for tracing back to possible radioactive release scenarios using measurements taken during an accident, making ASTEC a decision-making aid in crisis situations. Also involving ASTEC, another European project led by IRSN, JASMIN (Joint Advanced Severe Accident Modelling and Integration for Na-cooled fast neutron reactors), was launched in December 2011 and seeks to extend the validity of ASTEC to sodium-cooled fast neutron reactors (SFR).


Find out more about CESAM project

Find out more about JASMIN project