Bilateral agreements

August 2012

Scientific and technical collaboration agreements

CEA negotiates and implements scientific and technical cooperation agreements with foreign organizations in both the nuclear and non nuclear fields. It is also involved in implementing intergovernmental agreements between France and other countries in the nuclear energy field. Promoting and implementing bilateral agreements allows the French goverment to have the necessary elements to define its foreign policy in the nuclear area as well as promote the international developement of the French firms in partnership with the CEA.
However, much of the international cooperation among scientists is spontaneous and many agreements are directly negotiated between laboratories and sometimes include a commercial chapter. CEA has signed such agreements with the following countries :

Map - Scientific and technical collaboration agreements

United States

  • CEA has close ties with the national laboratories of the US Department of Energy (DOE) in the following areas:
    Future nuclear systems (framework agreement signed on September 10, 2000): this is the central theme of the Generation IV international initiative launched by the United States and for which France is one of the USA's chief partners.
  • Framework agreement followed by several implementation agreements:
    INERI (International Nuclear Energy Research Initiative), signed on July 9, 2001, FUTURIX-FTA agreement signed on August 24, 2004.
    Radioactive waste management (agreement signed on May 23, 2002) : theme associated with R&D on the Bataille Act in France and the AFCI (Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative) program in the United States.
    Civil nuclear crisis management (agreement signed on September 25, 2003).
    Life sciences (MoU signed in January 2002).
  • In addition, CEA has also established bilateral contacts with many other American partners (including EPRI, NRC, universities, NNSA) through various multilateral initiatives:
    • Scientific cooperation programs under the aegis of the OECD/NEA (on safety for example : Melt Coolability and Concrete Interaction program),
    • IAEA programs (e.g. on the safety of radioactive sources),
    • International safety programs managed by IRSN and carried out on the CABRI and PHEBUS facilities (CEA - Cadarache).


  • Intergovernmental agreement:
    Technical and scientific cooperation agreement signed on January 16, 1967 (this agreement has been amended several times to include new areas of cooperation).
    Agreement on the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes signed on October 25, 2002.
  • Cooperation between CEA and Brazilian organizations:
    Framework cooperation agreement between CEA and its Brazilian counterpart, CNEN, signed on October 25, 2002 for five years.
    Project to develop current cooperation in the field of micro- and nanotechnologies within a LETI/MINATEC framework.


  • Intergovernmental agreement:
    Cooperation protocol between the French Minister for Industry and the Moroccan Minister for Energy and Mines signed on July 25, 2003.
  • Cooperation between CEA and Moroccan organizations:
    Under the agreement signed with CNESTEN (Moroccan national centre for nuclear energy, science and technology): internships at CEA laboratories and support for the commissioning of the future reactor, TRIGA.


Internships under the agreement signed between CEA and CNSTN (Tunisian national centre for nuclear science and technologies), support for research into the production of drinking water by nuclear desalination within the context of the TUN-DESAL project, signed by CEA and CNSTN under the aegis of the IAEA.

  • Intergovernmental agreement:
    Cooperation agreement between the French and Russian governments in the field of nuclear energy signed on January 19, 1996 and amended by the Protocol of January 12, 1999.
  • Cooperation between CEA and Russian organizations:
    Since 1993, CEA has signed framework agreements with Minatom (Ministry for Atomic Energy), which, in April 2004, became Rosatom, the Russian Nuclear Energy Agency reporting to the Russian Prime Minister.
    A CEA-Rosatom coordination committee meets every year.
    Main fields of cooperation : nuclear safety and radiological protection, R&D on fast neutron reactors, fuel cycle, fundamental research, crisis management, public relations and information.


  • Intergovernmental agreements:
    Scientific and technological cooperation agreement between the French and Indian governments signed on July 18, 1978 and published on October 21, 1989.
  • Cooperation between CEA and Indian organizations:
    A joint French-Indian coordination committee for nuclear energy was created by a protocol signed between CEA and AEC (Atomic Energy Commission) in September 2002.
    Several agreements have been signed on various topics (DEN/DSV), sealing an active partnership between the two countries.
    An agreement on material sciences was signed in November 2004 during the second committee meeting in Bombay.


  • Intergovernmental agreements:
    Cooperation agreement between the governments of France and the People's Republic of China on the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, signed on May 15, 1997.
    Cooperation agreement between the governments of France and the People's Republic of China on intellectual property signed on September 24, 1998.
  • Cooperation between CEA and Chinese organizations:
    CEA collaborates in the fields of civil nuclear energy and fundamental research with many Chinese institutes operated by:
    • the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA), the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) and its engineering institutes, the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corporation (GGNPC),
    • the University of Tsinghua, the Institute of Nuclear Energy Technology (INET),
    • and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
    An agreement signed with the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) in January 2004 has further strengthened this cooperation, particularly in the field of magnetic confinement fusion, and opened up new areas in CEA's fields of excellence : new energy technologies, NICT, climate sciences, and life sciences.


CEA cooperation with its Vietnamese partners is extremely active in the nuclear R&D field. The Vietnamese partners are particularly motivated by the prospect of their country acquiring its first nuclear power plant by 2017/2020. In 2002, CEA renewed an agreement with its Vietnamese counterpart, the Vietnam Atomic Energy Commission (VAEC).

Cooperation in the field of nano- and microtechnologies is also highly active, particularly with the national universities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh Ville.


  • Intergovernmental agreement:
    An agreement on the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes was signed on April 4, 1981. Under this agreement, a nuclear committee is convened every 18 months.
  • Cooperation between CEA and Korean organizations:
    CEA-KAERI (Korea Atomic Research Institute) framework agreement signed in 1997 and renewed in 2002.
    Agreements with the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) and Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KISTI) signed on 2002 on new and renewable energy.


  • Intergovernmental agreement:
    Cooperation agreement between the French and Japanese governments on the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, signed on February 26, 1972 and amended in 1990.
  • Cooperation between CEA and Japanese organizations:
    CEA has signed R&D framework agreements with Japan's leading nuclear organizations : JAERI, JNC, JNES, CRIEPI. Given the similarities between the French and Japanese nuclear programs, the two countries are able to cooperate in a very wide range of fields, including safety, future nuclear systems, fuel cycle, and fast neutron reactors. For many years now, Japan has been CEA's main partner in nuclear R&D cooperation.


Foreign representation

Nuclear departments have been set up in a number of embassies to reinforce CEA's presence in the following countries: USA, Russia, Japan, China, Korea.
In these departments, CEA is represented by nuclear advisors, reporting directly to the ambassadors and assisted by a team of colleagues. They carry out scientific and technical watch activities, and support cooperation programs between CEA and other French organizations and industrialists with their counterparts in the nuclear and non nuclear fields.
Nuclear advisors are also posted in Vienna (French permanent mission to the United Nations Office and international organizations) and in Brussels (French permanent representation to the European Union).


Grants for foreign researchers

In accordance with bilateral agreements, CEA's International Relations Division (DRI) organizes internships for foreign personnel in CEA laboratories.
The interns are professional people (researchers, engineers, technicians) employed by CEA's counterparts abroad. They come for further training and to broaden their experience in CEA laboratories, with a particular view to familiarizing themselves with French R&D tools and nuclear safety culture.
Some countries with which CEA has not signed a cooperation agreement sometimes apply to send interns. These applications are examined on an individual basis.
Internships may last from a month to a year or even longer when the researcher wishes to prepare a thesis in a CEA laboratory.
In 2004, DRI welcomed 240 interns in this way. The interns are co-funded by DRI, which delegates the related management tasks to the EGIDE association.

Visits of French laboratories and industrial sites can also be arranged for foreign partners.



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