IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


Research units

Technical Center for Nuclear Equipments Homologation (CTHEN)

The CTHEN is located in the CEA center in Saclay (Paris area). Founded in 1991, the center is currently directed by Jacques Corbière and employs three engineers.

Scope of activity


The CTHEN center is in charge of evaluating certain types of equipment used in the nuclear industry, according to predefined baselines (technical specifications, statutory or regulatory texts, etc.).


Its field of competence covers the following types of equipment:

  • Personal protective equipment (ventilated or non-ventilated clothing for protection against nuclear or chemical contamination, laboratory gloves, containment, X-ray protection).
  • Ventilation and purification system components (HEPA filters, fire dampers).
    Compliance analyses are based on technical files (components, manufacturing method, on-site monitoring systems, quality assurance, etc.) and on the results of tests performed in partner and/or certified laboratories.


Main activities of the CTHEN center:

  • Certification of personal protective equipment: The CTHEN center is authorized by French ministerial authorities to carry out tests and inspections intended to demonstrate the compliance of certain types of equipment with European requirements. The corresponding compliance certificates (referred to as 'standard CE inspection certificates') allow the equipment to bear the CE mark and to be distributed in the European community (to date, the CTHEN center has issued approximately 280 of these certificates).
  • Processing of requests for approval of filters or fire dampers (approximately 25 approval certificates currently being validated). Lists of products approved by the CTHEN and baselines used for approval may be consulted on request.
  • Technical expertise and assessments for various authorities.


The CTHEN center participates in the following:

  • Standardization committees and task forces of various authorities, both French (AFNOR) and European (CEN), devoted to personal protective equipment (nuclear and chemical).
  • French and European bodies for the coordination of authorities certified in the field of personal protective equipment.



Technical resources


Tests intended for CE certification and approval are mostly performed using the technical resources of Serac laboratories (Lecev and LPMAC). The CTHEN center also calls on outside authorities such as the CEA/DRT/DIMRI/SIAR (CEA radiation department), the LRCCP (laboratory for the study and monitoring of rubber and plastics), the IFTH (French textile institute), and the LNE (French national testing laboratory).

Send Print


BP 178
91192 Gif-Sur-Yvette
Cedex France

(33) (0) or 79.18

By e-mail, the head of unit, Jacques Corbiere


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