About us​​

IRESNE  research institute devoted to innovative nuclear solutions for a greener energy mix.

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Photo de ​Jean-Michel RUGGIERI le directeur de l'IRESNE.

IRESNE is the CEA’s research institute for nuclear systems devoted to low-carbon energy production. It was created by the CEA, i.e. the French Alternative Energies & Atomic Energy Commission, in 2020 and currently has a staff of 900 committed to designing, simulating, testing and qualifying new reactors for both today and tomorrow.

IRESNE has extended the scope of its remit to include the integration of nuclear systems in the low-carbon energy mix. Other than electricity generation, nuclear energy can also be considered as a source of district heating. The institute is pushing its research towards technical innovations to support these two pillars which are electricity and district heating.

Its objective is to provide society with an optimised energy mix that exploits all low-carbon resources.

The institute was created within the scope of the CEA’s reorganisation to focus its research on decarbonised energy sources. This new organisation reflects the French government’s commitment to providing a decarbonised energy mix based on nuclear energy and renewables. The objectives were defined by the French State in line with its Energy Transition Act promoting green growth and its national energy & climate plan (PPE). These laws ensure the implementation of France’s roadmap designed to lower its greenhouse emissions (SNBC) by using low-carbon resources. This roadmap affects all economic sectors and must be supported by everyone, whether citizens, local authorities or businesses.

For this reason, the CEA created its Energy Division (DES) under which the IRESNE teams work. The CEA Energy Division also includes two other institutes: one devoted to applied sciences and simulation for low-carbon energy sources (ISAS), and another to science and technology for a circular economy of low-carbon energy (ISEC).


A specialist institute in nuclear energy
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Labo UO2 : fabrication additive imprimante 3D. Pièce en alumine réalisée par fabrication additive. La pièce imprimée comporte une croix centrale en creux. Apres impression, séchage et déliantage, la pièce a été frittée pour rendre la céramique pratiquement totalement dense.

The resources of the IRESNE Institute are located on the one and same site, the Cadarache Centre, which contributes to its excellent performance in R&D.

IRESNE comprises three R&D departments: the DER, the DEC, and the DTN. Its main fields of expertise focus on a single issue:
Providing society with an optimised energy mix that exploits all low-carbon resources

Nuclear reactors: this involves defining and validating computer tools to better understand reactor core physics and the fuel cycle, as well as conducting experiments to design and develop safe reactors with high performance. This is the remit of the Reactor Studies Department (DER) within the institute.

Nuclear fuel: this involves defining, developing, manufacturing and characterising the behaviour of fuel and its components in reactor conditions. Studies focus on both the front-end and the back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle. This is the remit of the Fuel Studies Department (DEC) within the institute.

Nuclear technologies: this involves continuously improving the technical components of reactors within the scope of their operating range and environment, as well as understanding all aspects of a severe accident to better manage nuclear risks. This is the remit of the Nuclear Technology Department (DTN) within the institute.

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IRESNE is based on the CEA site called Cadarache, which is about 30 minutes from Aix-en-Provence in the south of France.

IRESNE Management - Building 707
CEA Cadarache
13115 Saint-Paul-lez-Durance cedex.