IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Research units

Thermal-hydraulics, control, core and fuel assessment department (ST3C)

The Thermal-hydraulics, Control, Core and Fuel assessment Department (ST3C) is responsible for conducting analyses and specialised safety assessments on the control, core and fuel assembly behaviour and thermal-hydraulics behaviour of pressurised water reactors under normal operation and in accident situations.

This department therefore:

  • analyses dossiers suggested by the operator in line with his expertise (assessment methods and associated codes),
  • analyses the provisions for controlling pressurised water reactors in incident and accident situations in the event of external hazards (fire, flooding, etc.), for severe accidents,
  • estimates the failure probability of the various human interventions, used in the probabilistic safety assessments,
  • in conjunction with the competent units, acquires, develops and implements tools and associated methods to assess thermal-hydraulic and neutron assessments and those relating to fuel behaviour in reactors and the spent fuel pit,
  • operates the SIPA2 simulator for training and study needs and maintains and develops it,
  • takes part in preparing crisis drill scenarios,
  • 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 Institute’s cross-cutting projects.


To successfully complete its missions, ST3C consults as necessary with designers and operators, other units in the Division and the other IRSN Divisions, within its areas of expertise.



ST3C sections


  • Core and Fuel Analysis Section (BA2C)
  • Thermal-hydraulics Analysis Section (Bath)
  • Reactor Control Analysis Section (Bacr)
  • Section for the Development of Methods and the Management of Simulation Tools (BMGS)

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Salle de simulation d'accident nucléaire ©Noak/Le bar Floréal/IRSN


By phone : +33 (0)


by e-mail, head of unit, Sylvie Cadet-Mercier


Thermal-hydraulics, control, core and fuel assessment department

BP 17
92262 Fontenay-aux-Roses
Cédex France


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