IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Radiation protection: IRSN signs a collaboration agreement with QST, its Japanese counterpart

The National Institute for Quantum and Radiological Sciences and Technology (QST) carries out research on the cancerous effects of ionizing radiation which are complementary to those carried out by IRN on non-cancerous effects.

The five-year agreement signed by IRSN's Director-General Jean-Christophe Niel and QST’s President Toshio Hirano strengthened the previous agreement between the Institute and the NIRS (National Institute of Radiological Sciences). Since April 2016, NIRS and part of the activities of the JAEA (Japan Atomic Energy Agency) have been merged into QST.

The scientific collaboration concerns five areas of radiation protection:

  • effects of chronic low-level exposure to ionizing radiation,
  • diagnosis and treatment of people accidently overexposed,
  • epidemiology of the cancerous and non-cancerous effects of ionizing radiation,
  • internal and external dosimetry in normal and accidental situations,
  • biological dosimetry.

One main value of the collaboration will concern experimental studies on the cancerous effects of ionizing radiation carried out by the QST which are complementary to the Institute's research on non-cancerous effects. The Japanese organization, which has an hospital, is also the national reference center in the treatment of overexposed people. Thus, IRSN will have preferential access to results of biological analyzes, photos of radiation-induced burns or information related to the treatment protocols implemented.

With regard to the Fukushima nuclear accident, the agreement should facilitate access by IRSN to the data collected by the Fukushima Medical University as part of the monitoring of the health consequences of the accident.

For its part, QST will have easy access to IRSN's three research facilities: MIRCOM  for the understanding of the effects of ionizing radiation at the cellular and subcellular level, MICADO Lab for the effects of chronic low-level exposure to ionizing radiation, and PARISII for the effects of radionuclides’  ingestion and inhalation.

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