IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

Search our site :


Contact us :

En Fr

All our expertise to protect you


Research units

Explosion and Fire Laboratory (LIE)

The Explosion and Fire Laboratory (LIE) is situated at Cadarache, in the Bouches-du-Rhône (southern France). It is headed by Frédéric Cousin.




Context and research themes


The laboratory’s role is, on the one hand, to improve the understanding of fire and associated phenomena, particularly fires concerning nuclear facitilies, and on the other hand, to produce methods and associated tools to support the development and use of mathematical software.

One of the laboratory’s activities is the production, improvement and validation of mathematical fire simulation software, based on the interpretation of the results of experiments obtained mostly as part of the programmes conducted by the IRSN. In this respect, the LIE plays an important role in the specification and interpretation of experimental programmes. Two software simulating fire behaviour in installations consisting of several ventilated rooms are developed: Sylvia (simplified approach) and Isis (detailed 3-D modelling of physical phenomena).



Research axes


The LIE also supports the laboratories of the IRSN in terms of: 

  • Development of mathematical methods for solving partial derivative equations (PDE) related to the physics of transfers (mathematical fluid mechanics, incompressible or slightly compressible flows). 
  • Modelling of uncertainties. 
  • Sensitivity analysis (multivariate analysis, construction of response surfaces). 
  • Software engineering (object-oriented software design for scientific calculations). 
  • Data analysis (development of tools for processing experimental data and signals).


In this field, the LIE is developing the following softwares:

  • the Pelicans library of software components for solving partial derivative equations
  • the Sunset code for uncertainty and sensitivity analysis.



Specialties and researchers


    The LIE has acquired skills in the following areas: 

    • thermal processes (conduction, convection and radiation), 
    • fluid mechanics of flows of turbulent and reactive gases, 
    • transport and sedimentation of aerosols, 
    • combustion (turbulent diffusion of flames), organic fuels (solids, liquids).


List of researchers and engineers:


Frédéric Cousin, head of laboratory

Fabrice Babik, research engineer

Sophie Bascou, energy/thermo-hydraulics researcher

Germain Boyer, engineer

Fabien Duval, engineer

Laura Gastaldo, engineer

Matthieu Jobelin, engineer

Jean-Paul Joret, engineer

François Lamare, engineer

Céline Lapuerta Blanc, engineer

William Plumecocq, engineer

Anthony Maire, engineer

Philippe Querre, engineer

Samuel Vaux, engineer 

Bassam Gamal, PhD student (2018-2021)

Jianwei Shi, PhD student (2016-2019)



Facilities and techniques


The following tools are available at Limsi: 

  • Scientific calculation tools for simulating fires, developed in the laboratory itself: · IsisSylvia
  • Scientific calculation programs developed to assist other IRSN laboratories in various research domains:
    - near-field atmospheric dispersion: Artic,
    - pollutant dispersion in rivers: Gabian,
    - corium-concrete interaction: Promise and Topase.
  • Software tools developed in the laboratory itself:
    - Pelicans, Promise, 
    - Sunset.



Partnership and research networks


The LIE collaborates with organisation such as Ineris, Inria and various Universities (Universities of Aix Marseille, Poitiers, Edinburgh...).

Send Print


Explosion and Fire Laboratory
BP 3
13115 Saint Paul Lez Durance cedex
By phone : +33 (0)4 42 19 92 22


Send to a friend

The information you provide in this page are single use only and will not be saved.
* Required fields

Recipient's email:*  

Sign with your name:* 

Type your email address:*   

Add a message :

Do you want to receive a copy of this email?