IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety



Experimental facilities and means

The IRSN has developed and used its experimental facilities and means. Below, there is a list describing some of these.


Radiation protection for human health and environnement 


ALPHÉE is an accelerator similar to the radiotherapy machines used in the medical field. IRSN uses it to carry out research dealing with the effects of irradiation on healthy tissue and their evaluation and treatment. The facility is used to irradiate biological samples, i.e. cells, tissue and small animals.


The AMANDE facility (AMANDE = "Accelerator for metrology and neutron applications for external dosimetry"), commissioned in 2005, produces monoenergetic neutron reference fields, with two objectives: metrology related to neutron fluence and dose equivalents quantities and testing and calibrating neutron sensitive devices at multiple specific energies over a broad range (between 2 keV and 20 MeV).


The EPIC is a tool to study the transport of radionuclides in soil and aquifer.


IRSN has developed a range of measurement resources used to quantify radionuclides present at very low concentrations, or even at trace levels, in samples taken from the environment. Some of these measurement resources are found at the Environmental Radioactivity Measurement Laboratory (LMRE). 


MICADO Lab (French acronym for Chronic irradiation facility for laboratory studies of the dose-effect relationship) is an external gamma irradiation platform designed for studying the effects on ecosystems of chronic exposure to ionising radiation.


OPERA network allows measurements of radioactivity levels in the environment.


PARISII_vignette_EN.jpgPARISII encompasses the entire infrastructure, including housing rooms and various specialized laboratories, required to study the biological effects on internal radionuclide contamination.




The SARRP irradiator (Small Animal Radiation Research Platform) is an image-guided microirradiation system, delivering low energy X-rays, for small animals. The IRSN uses it to conduct preclinical research on the effects of irradiation on healthy tissue and its treatment.


The station is used for understanding and preventing risks related to the geological disposal of long-lived high-level (HL-LL) and intermediate-level (IL-LL) nuclear waste.



      Nuclear safety

      PERSÉE (French acronym for Experimental platform for research for radioactive effluents purification) is a test bench designed specifically for studying and improving gaseous effluent purification systems ubiquitous in nuclear facilities.


      The CALIST facility is developed to characterise the drops sizes and velocities from one or more spray nozzles, initially those of pressurised water nuclear reactors (PWR), as well as to study gaseous entrainment by sprays.

      The CHIP facility​ is dedicated to studying iodine chemistry under thermal non equilibrium (impact of chemical kinetics) in the primary cooling system in the event of a core meltdown accident in a water reactor.

      EPICUR is an apparatus used by the programme EPICUR (physicochemical studies on confined iodine under irradiation) which aims at providing experimental data to validate the chemical models for iodine in the reactor containment under accident conditions.


      GALAXIE gathers several experimental facilities of various sizes located on site at Cadarache. They enable to conduct experimental research with the aim of improving fire safety in nuclear facilities.


      The PEARL facility is dedicated to debris bed reflooding tests. It is used for carrying out the experimental campaigns scheduled in relation to the PROGRES program proposed for studying the mitigation of the progress of corium inside the vessel.


      vignette-tosqan-eng2.jpgThe TOSQAN facility is an enclosure where thermal-hydraulic conditions representative of a severe accident in nuclear reactors can be simulated.




      SOFIA is a simulator of incidental and emergency operation provinding representative model of 900, 1300 and 1450 MWe reactors.

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