IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Research units

Severe accident and radioactive release assessment department (Sagr)

The mission of the Severe Accident and Radioactive Release Assessment Department (Sagr) is to conduct assessment studies on accident situations that could affect the water reactors and result in a meltdown of the reactor core.

This department therefore:

  • analyses the progress of and radioactive release from accidents as a result of internal initiating events leading to core meltdown and formulates opinions on measures to prevent and limit the consequences of such accidents,
  • in conjunction with the other IRSN divisions, particularly the Major Accident Prevention Division, acquires and implements tools to assess risks of loss of containment and explosion, with the associated radioactive release,
  • coordinates work in the context of level 2 probabilistic safety assessments of light-water reactors, performs the corresponding work in its areas of expertise and participates in assessing probabilistic studies carried out by the operators,
  • participates in appraising existing or planned provisions by the operators to limit the consequences of serious accidents likely to affect the reactors,
  • conducts the studies required to define the technical bases to be adopted in putting together special intervention plans,
  • takes part in developing the scientific resources required by the IRSN Emergency Response Center to develop diagnostics and prognosis in an accident situation,
  • participates in defining and implementing R&D programmes in its areas of expertise,
  • in its areas of expertise, performs support studies in the analysis or carrying out of the Institutes cross-cutting projects.


To successfully complete its missions, Sagr consults as necessary with designers and operators, other units in the division and the other IRSN divisions, within its areas of expertise.



Sagr sections


  • Severe Accidents and Radioactive Release Analysis Section (BAAGR)
  • Probabilistic Assessment of Severe Accidents Section (Bepag)
  • Physics of Severe Accidents Section (BPhAG)

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By phone :+33 (0)

by e-mail, head of unit, Frederique Pichereau


Severe accident and radioactive release assessment department

BP 17
92262 Fontenay-aux-Roses
Cédex France




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