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Programme 'Investissements d’avenir d’Avenir' (PIA)
Development of bio- and eco-technological methods for the rational remediation of effluents and soil in support of a strategy for post-accident rehabilitation

Published on 5 June 2019
​The DEMETERRES project aims to develop in France a group of innovative technologies for the remediation of soil and contaminated effluents.

This 19 million € project over 5 years, launched at the end of 2013, is being made in the context of the “Recherche en Sûreté Nucléaire et Radioprotection” (RSNR) action. It benefits from assistance from the State (5.2 million €) managed by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche under the program ‘Investissements d’Avenir’.


The post-accident management of the Fukushima accident has revealed gaps in the operational strategy for rehabilitating soils and contaminated effluents. The technologies used so far are only partially satisfactory in that they fail to sustainably restore the use (especially agricultural) of soil, and they lead to excess or unsuitable volumes of waste in view of the sectors in place.


From this observation was born the DEMETERRES project, which aims to develop in France a group of innovative technologies for remediation of soil and contaminated effluents. These are selective for non-intrusive radionuclides (mainly cesium-137 and strontium-90) and optimized for secondary wastes. Combined, these technologies touch on the fields of biotechnology (bio-remediation and phyto-extraction) and “eco-compatible” physico-chemical technologies.

This project, coordinated by the CEA/DSV, was structured around a scientific expertise based on physico-chemical and biological approaches, and the industrial expertise of the participants. It brings together CEA research teams from the DSV (the IBEB at Cadarache) and the DEN (DPC, DTCD, DRCP and ICSM), the IRSN at Cadarache, and the INRA and CIRAD in Montpellier. AREVA and VEOLIA are the industrial partners. This collaboration between research and industrial partners aims to develop technologies that can be industrialized on a horizon of 3 to 5 years.


The establishment of an innovation facility is eventually proposed, structured on an expertise of remediation technologies for soil and radio-contaminated effluents, and which can be mobilized by the public authorities in the event of an accident. Additionally, the evaluation of coupling and sequencing performances of these technologies will create a remediation strategy destined to public authorities, embodied by a guide to help in the post-accident decision. Finally, the project will also address the possibility of a technological transposition both to the rehabilitation of sites and soils polluted by chemical contaminants, and to the valorization of natural substrates.

CIRAD : Centre de Coopération Coopération International en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement

DEN: The CEA’s Division of Nuclear Energy

DPC: The CEA’s Department of Physical Chemistry

DTCD : The CEA’s department for studies on the treatment and conditioning of waste

DRCP : The CEA’s Department of Radiochemistry and Processes

IRSN : Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety

Laboratories involved in the project:

  • Phytotechnics (GRAP, Cadarache)
  • Laboratory of Developmental Plant Biology ( LBDP, Cadarache)
  • Laboratory for Protein Metal Interaction Studies (LIPM, Cadarache)