IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Fields of activity

Protection and control of nuclear and sensitive materials


Nuclear material monitoring and accounting, Nuclear material inventory control in an emergency

Each nuclear facility’s operator must record and track work with nuclear materials, as well as the evidence from the monitoring of nuclear materials in order to control them.

Nuclear material samplesIRSN is responsible for the centralised accounts complementing the local accounts. Regular comparison of these two sets of accounts ensures that errors are detected and prevents any possible falsification. It also helps to check the consistency of statements made by different operators and reconcile them with the data reported separately by those responsible for transport.

At the request of the authorities, IRSN regularly organizes emergency situation inventory controls exercices for nuclear material at a facility. The purpose of the exercices id to test decision laking chains as well as the coordination of those involved (operators, public authorities and so on). 

In 2015, IRSN launched a new website for the French information system or managing the national register of radioactive sources (SIGIS), enabling organizations possessing or supplyin the 45.000 radioactive sources in existence in France to manage their licenses online.

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 20​15.


International non-proliferation inspections

IRSN is involved in IAEA inspections in France. The IAEA’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria are pictured hereIRSN supports inspections conducted by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on the French chemical industry. The Institute provides technical support to the Ministry of Industry to ensure that national regulations comply to OPCW decisions.

In 2015, two initiatives were carried out for the first time in partnership with the French Chemical ,Industries Association (UIC).

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2015.

In 2014, IRSN:

  • continued its census of organizations subject to the CWC, together with its awareness campaign on this topic
  • took part in bilateral negociations with the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW, and in a number of multilateral negociations.

In the nuclear field, IRSN supports the international inspections performed by EURATOM and the IAEA. In 2014, IRSN escorted 49 of these inspections.

For more information about these topics, consult IRSN's Activity Report 2014 - Chapter Activities / Security and Non-proliferation.



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