IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


Research organization

The Scientific Council's activities

    The Scientific Council in 2011

    During the plenary meeting of 18 May 2011, the Fukushima crisis was presented to the Scientific Council, as well as the lessons learnt from the AERES assessment of IRSN.  In addition, the ad hoc committee presented its opinion on the epidemiological studies conducted by IRSN. The agenda also included a presentation of IRSN's R&D strategy in view of extending the period of operation of reactors (ageing and mitigation). Furthermore, a scientific day on how to manage expertise for low-probability events (extreme natural phenomena, PSA, risk of vessel fracture, etc.) was organized. This day was held on 7 December 2011 and a summary of the discussions will be drafted. In 2011, the Scientific Council decided to launch an assessment of R&D for severe accidents. The Council plans to launch two assessments in 2012, one on dosimetry R&D and the second on R&D focusing on local field atmospheric dispersion.


    The restructuring of the IRSN's operational units was presented to the Scientific Council at the plenary session on 8 December 2011. Follow-up to the Fukushima accident was also reported on to the Scientific Council (local conditions, additional safety assessments, impact on IRSN R&D). The ad hoc committees of the Scientific Council presented their opinions on critical software and the environment surveillance strategy, as developed by IRSN. Feedback on the scientific day dedicated to the consideration of rare events with potentially severe consequences was presented to the Scientific Council.



    The Scientific Council in 2010

    During the plenary meeting of 20 May 2010, the Scientific Council's ad hoc committee gave its opinion on IRSN R&D programmes focusing on the risk to ecosystems. The Scientific Council decided to launch an assessment of critical software and of the epidemiological studies carried out by IRSN.


    The final version of the report on assessment methods for risks to ecosystems, mapping of the assessments of the Scientific Council and the AERES report on IRSN research units were all presented at the plenary session of 18 November 2010. The Scientific Council adopted the steering proposals for the assessment of critical software and the epidemiological studies of the IRSN.



    The Scientific Council in 2009


    During the plenary meeting of 28 May 2009, the Scientific Council ad hoc committee gave its opinion on IRSN R&D programmes on ageing nuclear facilities.

    In addition to welcoming the newly appointed members, the plenary meeting scheduled for 19 November will look at the ongoing activities of the assessment committees (topics considered: methods for assessing risks to ecosystems, general environmental monitoring strategy).



    The Scientific Council in 2008


    Two Council-initiated assessments were completed in 2008 and other work from the previous year was continued.

    The first assessment, entitled "Research in radiopathology and treatment of irradiation victims", focused on the research activities of the Radiopathology Laboratory and the Cell Therapy and Accident Radiation Protection Laboratory (which have now merged to form the Radiopathology and Experimental Therapy Laboratory - LRTE). The final version of the report was approved at the plenary meeting held on 13 November 2008.

    The report concerning the second of these assessments on "The role of global tests in simulating reactor accidents" was examined and approved at the plenary meeting of May 2008.



    The Scientific Council in 2007


    2007 was a transitional year for the IRSN Scientific Council. The Council saw a partial renewal of its members and a Scientific Division was set up at the Institute.

    In addition to the Council's regular activities, a targeted assessment programme was initiated during the year. It was also a time to consider a number of strategic matters with the creation of the Institute's Medium- and Long-Term Plan (MLTP) and so many important events taking place in the environmental and nuclear fields (Environment Round Table, projects for new-generation reactors, ITER).



    The Scientific Council from 2004 to 2006


    The Scientific Council gradually assumed the full scope of its responsibilities which include providing an independent, outsider's view of IRSN activities and scientific and technical programmes, assessing the quality and relevance of the results obtained and expressing its opinion on various matters as required.


    The Council completed two assessments in 2006:

    • The first concerned IRSN work on reconstructing data on fallout in France from the Chernobyl accident. The Council's opinion on this topic was published on 27 March 2006: consult opinion.
    • The second was devoted to studies and research work conducted by the Institute on the deep disposal of radioactive waste. The Council's opinion on this topic was published on 9 November 2006: consult opinion.


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