IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety

A Global Partner

Research networks and organisations

IRSN is a founding member or a partner, through its contributing experts and its financial support, in the following organisations and networks :

Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform -  SNETP

SNETP logoThe SNETP was launched in September 2007. Its members are the major European nuclear decision-makers, including the European nuclear Technical Safety Organisations (TSOs). They participate in working groups aimed at defining the main lines of research, and in the SNETP Steering Committee. Here and now, the work performed by the platform will have a great effect on the next three Euratom framework programmes (FPs). They provide the means of directly setting up programmes between platform members. On the initiative of the IRSN, the safety of existing reactors, radiation protection of personnel and populations and nuclear waste management aspects were taken into particular consideration during these days of discussions.

The IRSN, which is an active participant in the TSOs, represents them within the framework of the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) that is intended to determine research into nuclear fission in Europe over the next 40 years. IRSN is coordinating the working group dedicated to nuclear safety. Three fields of research are involved: analysis of uncertainties and safety margins; existing and evolutionary reactors (reactor physics, thermal-hydraulics, severe accidents, criticality, nuclear fuel, integrity of structures, fire, electrical systems and human factors) ; and future fission reactors (calculations, residual heat, fuel integrity, fission products, reduction of major accident risk, in-service inspections).

In addition to the safety working group, eight other working groups have been set up to define the main lines of research of the SRA. These concern the different types of reactor and the fuel cycle, plus related themes such as modelling or materials. Other TSO representatives also participate in these working groups since the subjects directly concern their missions. The IRSN is mainly involved in the “GEN II and GEN III Light Water Reactors”, “GEN IV Fast Systems” and “Modelling, simulation and methods” groups.

More information:

Visit the SNETP website :


The European network of excellence SARNET on severe accidents

SARNET logoSARNET is a network of excellence federating European research on severe accidents in nuclear power plants.

It was first launched for a four-year term on April 2nd 2004, in the context of the European Commission's Sixth Research and Development Framework Program (PCRD). On April 1st 2009, SARNET was extended for a four-year term in the context of the Seventh PCRD.  

Coordinated by the IRSN, SARNET unites 43 organizations involved in research on nuclear reactor safety (safety institutes, universities, industrial companies, research centers, etc.), in 18 European countries plus the USA, Canada, South Korea and India.

The aim of SARNET research is to :

  • improve the  coordination of research capabilities on core meltdown accidents
  • help reduce the remaining problems in this area by conducting appropriate joint research programs
  • integrate the best state of knowledge in high-performance numerical simulation tools (ASTEC software) for the evaluation of reactor safety, most notably in the context of Level 2 Probabilistic Safety Assessments (PSA2), i.e. probabilistic studies of the consequences of core meltdown accidents
  • disseminate knowledge and train new experts in this field.


More information:

Consult our Research pages

Visit the SARNET website :


STAR: European network of excellence for radioecology

STAR logoLaunched in February 2011, the Strategy for Allied Radioecology (STAR) network of excellence, coordinated by IRSN, groups together nine European partners. The objective is to pool the knowledge, infrastructures and research efforts of the different partners in order to create a genuine “European research area in radioecology”.

Created as part of the 7th Euratom framework programme for research and development, one of the main objectives of STAR is to draw up a strategic research agenda over 15 years, which also includes requirements expressed outside of the consortium.

STAR is organised into seven “Works Packages” (WPs), three of which are specifically reserved for research on the following priority themes: 

  • Developing and proposing an integrated approach for assessing the radiological risk for humans and for the environment (WP3)
  • Examination of the relevance of taking into account the context of multi-pollution, which could modify the risk estimated for pollutants taken in isolation on account of interactions between contaminants (WP4)
  • Determination of relevant ecological effects for situations of exposure to low doses and proposals for associated environmental protection criteria (WP5).


More information:

Consult our Research pages

Visit the STAR website :


Multidisciplinary European Low Dose Initiative - MELODI

MELODI logoThe mission of MELODI is to coordinate and promote European research on the risks associated with low-dose exposure to ionizing radiation.

There are a number of open scientific questions which should be resolved in order to consolidate the European radiation protection framework in the area of low dose exposure to ionising radiation. Research on low dose risk requires multidisciplinary approaches and long-term commitment. That’s why several scientific and regulatory bodies set up the MELODI platform in 2010 to address societal and public concerns related to the radiation exposure.

The research platform is open to any organization that shares the mission of developing and updating a joint research agenda in low dose risk. MELODI is willing to play a key role in coordinating present and future research in Europe, contributing to the training and education and engaging with international partners such as WHO, IAEA, USA and Japan. 

The three main goals of MELODI are:

  • To prioritise, promote and coordinate low dose risk research in Europe, through an open and integrative approach, adopting a Strategic Research Agenda
  • To create a forum for dialogue with EU institutions and stakeholders
  • To interface with international partners (WHO, IAEA, USA, Japan,…).


More information:

MELODI presentation (pdf file)

Visit the MELODI website :


Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations - CSNI

The Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI) of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is an international committee made up of senior scientists and engineers with broad responsibilities for safety technology and research programmes, and representatives from regulatory authorities. It was set up in 1973 to develop and co-ordinate the activities of the NEA concerning the technical aspects of the design, construction and operation of nuclear installations insofar as they affect the safety of such installations.

The Committee’s purpose is to foster international co-operation in nuclear safety amongst OECD member countries. The CSNI’s main tasks are to exchange technical information and to promote collaboration between research,  development, engineering and regulatory organisations; to review operating experience and the state of knowledge on selected topics of nuclear safety technology and safety assessment; to initiate and conduct programmes to overcome discrepancies, develop improvements and research consensus on technical issues; and to promote the co-ordination of work that serves to maintain competence in nuclear safety matters, including the establishment of joint undertakings.

The Committee focuses primarily on existing power reactors and other nuclear installations; it also considers the safety implications of scientific and technical developments of new reactor designs.

More information:

Visit the CSNI website :


Nugenia - NUclear GENeration II & III Association

NugeniaNUGENIA is an association dedicated to the research and development of nuclear fission technologies, with a focus on Generation II and III nuclear plants. It gathers stakeholders from industry, research, safety organisations and academia, committed to develop joint R&D projects in the field. NUGENIA builds on the past success of a European Commission-supported network called NULIFE, and integrates a working group from SNETP, the Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform; it also targets to join with the SARNET network. The work of NUGENIA is organised in seven technical areas, within a general scope defined by the Strategic Research Agenda published by SNETP, the European stakeholder forum for nuclear technology.

More information:

Visit the NUGENIA website:

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