IRSN, a public entity with industrial and commercial activities, was created in 2001. The Institute is placed under the joint authority of the Ministries of Defense, Environment, Industry, Research, and Health. It is the nation’s public service expert in nuclear and radiation risks, and its activities cover all the related scientific and technical issues. Over 1,700 people are working there.
Its areas of specialization include the environment and radiological emergency response, human radiation protection in both a medical and professional capacity, and in both normal and postaccident situations, the prevention of major accidents, nuclear reactor safety, as well as safety in nuclear plants and laboratories, transport and waste treatment, and nuclear defense and security expertise. IRSN interacts with all parties concerned by these risks (public authorities, in particular nuclear safety and security authorities, local authorities, companies, research organizations, stakeholders’ associations, etc.) to contribute to public policy issues relating to nuclear safety, human and environmental protection against ionizing radiation, and the protection of nuclear materials, facilities, and transport against the risk of malicious acts.
SOFIA is a simulator developed jointly by IRSN and Areva to simulate the control of various types of EDF reactors, including the EPR. In 2013, the National Institute for Nuclear Science and Technology (INSTN) purchased the 1,300 MWe configuration for use in its atomic engineering diploma courses.
Emergency Response Planning Center
In case of nuclear or radiological accident the Emergency Response Planning Center is the core place of crisis management at IRSN. Its job is to assess the situation and its future evolution, to estimate the potential or acknowledged spill, to evaluate the possible consequences on people and the environment, and to provide public and safety authorities with advice and expertise.
As the CEA’s original founding site in 1946, Fontenay-aux-Roses instantly played a pivotal role in developing the nation’s nuclear electricity sector. ZOÉ, France’s first atomic reactor, was built there, starting up in 1948 and running up to 1976 before twice being upgraded to new-generation nuclear facilities. These new-generation facilities were progressively phased out between 1982 and 1995, ahead of the cleanup and decommissioning program which started in 1999. Since January 2008, the Fontenay-aux-Roses center’s nuclear facilities cleanup program has been grafted onto a project dubbed Aladin. This project is being co-steered by the Nuclear Energy Division and the Life Sciences Division, and is built on experiential feedback from a similar project led in Grenoble. Aladin targets four core objectives: full process control over safety–security, full process control over the human resources mobilized, full process control over costs and deadlines, and expanded internal and press communications.
- 09:30: Meeting at IRSN entrance lobby and visit of:
- Emergency Response Planning Center
- SOFIA simuator
- 11:30: On-site lunch
- 13:00: Presentation of the CEA Fontenay center activities and decommissioning works
- 14:00: Visit of sites under decommissioning:
- Under preparation (Pétrus)
- In progress (RM2)
- Completed (Cyrano)
- 16:30: End of visit