IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


Research units

Research and Modeling Laboratory for Airborne Dispersion and Containment (LEMAC)


This laboratory is located in the CEA center in Saclay and also includes an experimental physics group devoted to containment studies (GPEC). It is directed by Laurent Ricciardi.






Context and research themes



The LEMAC laboratory (former name : LPMAC) performs tests, research, studies and assessments to characterize airborne contamination transfers within facilities, and to ensure the safety of personnel under normal or accidental conditions.



Research axes


Main activities:

  • basic research and advanced studies on aerosol physics and metrology, as well as on air contamination by natural sources (radioactive or non-radioactive) and anthropogenic sources (formation, physico-chemical evolution, transfer through containment barriers);
  • applying the results thus obtained so as to define, study and develop the corresponding measuring devices (air contamination meters in particular); 
  • testing of radioactive contamination measuring devices, such as air contamination meters or monitors (including tests performed within the scope of Cofrac accreditation obtained in 2001);
  • execution and interpretation of thermohydraulics tests (in Tosqan facility) to understand certain physical phenomena (effect of gas injection, steam condensation on walls, aerosol, downwash, etc.) in PWR containment under severe accident conditions ;
  • keeping the knowledge base up-to-date ;
  • acquisition, maintenance and development of corresponding tools, particularly test benches;
  • completion of tests, studies and assessments requested by other units (Serac, DPEA, IRSN, CEA, or other authorities)

Jérôme Richard, head of laboratory

Hortense Desjonquères, engineer

Thomas Gelain, engineer

Maud Guilleman, engineer

Deborah Hare, analysis technician

Salima Kaissoun, PhD student (2014-2017)

Nicolas Le Roux, research officer

Nadia Liatmi, technician

Jeanne Malet, engineer

Corinne Prévost, deputy head of laboratory

  • Studies and research, for the most part digital, concerning the characterisation of the transfer of species in facilities
  • Modelling of the transfer of species in all or part of a facility, based in particular on the use of computing codes
  • Development and qualification of the Sylvia computing code treating ventilation, air contamination and fire
  • Qualification of thermohydraulic computer codes relative to the dispersion of species in a containment during a serious reactor accident, particularly on the basis of tests carried out in the Tosqan facility
  • Studies in support of safety evaluations in the fields of containment and fire, external services relative to the air dispersion of pollutants and their confinement.

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Jérôme Richard, head of laboratory



Research and Modeling Laboratory for Airborne Dispersion and Containment

91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex


By phone: +33 (0)1 69 08 23 53


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