Last update on February 2018
The Research Laboratory on the Future of the Radioactive Sites Pollution (LELI) is located in Fontenay-aux-Roses. It was set up in 2015 to develop the knowledge needed to carry out high-level independent assessments of sites and soil contaminated by radioactive substances, such as former uranium mines and surface and near-surface radioactive waste disposal facilities.
Background and research themes
of the major challenges addressed by IRSN is to improve our knowledge
regarding the characterization and transfer of radionuclides in the
environment, and particularly their consequences for human health.
The Institute is tasked with providing the scientific and technical
basis on which the authorities must, in a proportionate manner,
define the conditions in which nuclear facilities are operated and
dismantled, together with procedures for managing contaminated land
and former mines.
a unit within IRSN's department in charge of radioactive waste and
radionuclide migration in the geosphere (SEDRE), the LELI was set up
to focus more specifically on issues related to managing the waste
produced during nuclear facility operating and dismantling or by
industries that use Naturally
occurring radioactive material
(NORM). In addition, it also studies former uranium mines and areas
contaminated following a nuclear accident such as the accidents at
Chernobyl and Fukushima, or affected by chronic contamination.
practice, the LELI works to identify and characterize the chemical,
physical and biological processes that govern radionuclide transfer
in the environment on various spatial scales and time scales. The
approach used is based on a selection of sites that are
representative of different contexts studied (spectrum of
radionuclides and environmental characteristics).
research carried out requires the development of analytical methods,
some geared to isotope analysis, which can provide invaluable natural
chronometers. Such developments also cover the analysis of low
concentrations in environmental media. Applying geostatistical
approaches to radionuclides is another area of development for the
laboratory, not only to improve source characterization but also with
a view to scaling.
the results of experiments into geochemical models is used to
evaluate the long-term behavior of radionuclides released and the
kinetics of how they migrate in the environment.
areas of research worked on are radionuclide transfer, contaminated
sites and soils, mining sites, waste and contaminated areas.
primary task is to define and implement experimental research
programs in the field of radionuclide transfer and retention in the
geosphere. More specifically, the aim of these programs is to:
the strategies used to characterize contaminated sites and soils
thanks to new tools and methods (the European TERRITORIES
project, research at Chernobyl; the I-TUM exploratory research
project, the ANR-PLUTON project and the ANR-AMORAD project);
and characterize the processes of radionuclide release and transfer.
This includes identifying the bearing phases and defining whether or
not they have the capacity to release radionuclides (URAMINES,
RAMSES, RUMBA, USEDIM, RASEDIM);
radionuclide transfer at different spatial and time scales, and
assessing the impact of external forces: geochemical modification of
the environmental, climate change (PIA-Andra Kri-Terres project),
and characterize processes likely to trap radionuclides and thus
lead to the creation of secondary source terms (European TERRITORIES
radionuclide speciation and how it evolves depending on
environmental conditions (area for further development).
LELI also develops analytical tools (AMORAD program), tests methods
and performs measurements relative to the physical, radiological and
chemical characterization of soil, rock and water. It is also in
charge of management and maintenance of the equipment installed at
facility, and is active in various metrology and intercomparison
networks (CETAMA, IRSN's in-house metrology network).
Julien (lab tests)
Alcalde (lab tests)
Diez (lab tests)
Gourgiotis (Isotopic Geochemistry)
Cazala (lab Director)
Stetten (Geochemistry, 2015-2018)
Gorny (Chemistry, 2017-2019)
Masoudi (Geostatistics, 2017-2019)
Facilities and methods
experimentation and characterization platform (Laboratoire
unifié d’expérimentation et de caractérisation),
used for experiments relating to radionuclide transfer in the
geosphere. This platform includes a range of tools for the physical
characterization of solids and chemical and radiological test
equipment used on samples taken from the environment;
2 km from the damaged reactor, used for in
research on radionuclide migration phenomena in saturated and
unsaturated media, and for developing site characterization
capabilities (hydrogeological and radiological) and laboratory
Partnerships and research networks
- Pierre et Marie Curie IMPMC (Institute of Mineralogy)
Center for Nuclear Safety, Radioactive Waste and
Institute of Agricultural Radiology
of Geological Sciences IGS-Ukraine
(Polish Mining Institute)
of Physical Geography