IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety



Research programmes in radiation protection

In the page below, are detailed a few current research programmes in the field of radioactivity and environment, and radioactivity and health.

Alpha-Risk is a research project coordinated by IRSN’s Epidemiology Laboratory (the LEPID) that comes under the 6th R&D Framework Programme. It is a 3-year project, launched in July 2005, which involves 18 partners (specialising in a range of disciplines :epidemiology, dosimetry, statistics and modelling) from 9 different countries.
A review of radioecology in Europe and a feasibility study into the establishment of a network of excellence of radioecology
Part of the 6th Euratom-Framework Research & Development Programme, the European project ERICA (Environmental Risk for Ionising Contaminants: Assessment and Management) has the aim to implement a method to assess the environmental risk associated with radionuclides.
Launched in 2001, ENVIRHOM is aimed at bringing together human health and environmental specialists to observe the effects of very low-level chronic exposure to radionuclides. The program studies radionuclide bioaccumulation phenomena in ecosystems and humans.
The consequences for a population and environment exposed to industrial pollution, especially if that pollution is radioactive, depend not only on the scale and type of the pollution, but also on the characteristics of the environment in which it occurs. This statement forms the basis of the SENSIB radiological sensitivity project launched in 2004 by the IRSN Laboratory of Continental and Marine Radioecological Studies (Laboratoire d'Etudes Radioécologiques en Milieux Continental et Marin - LERCM). See also PRIME project description, part of the SENSIB project.
The EXTREME project, launched in 2005, studies transfers of materials (mainly artificial radioactivity inventory) during sudden and extreme weather and climate events. The EXTREME project draws on the results of two other projects: the CARMA project (hydro-sedimentary study of the Rhone river region) and the EXTREMA project (which extends the scope of EXTREME to include metal contaminants in the Mediterranean coastal area).
Tournemire programme encompasses all experiments performed in the Tournemire site (Aveyron region, Southern France), including corresponding interpretation work. The experimental facility consists of a tunnel dug in highly endured clay, with properties next to the ones of the site selected by ANDRA in the Est of France for the installation of an underground research laboratory.
The Chernobyl experimental platform is a 4-hectare research area devoted to the study of radionuclide migration in soil and plants. It is located near one of the old trenches dug hastily to bury soil and debris contaminated by the accident.

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