Mission statement

The CEA Research Institute for Nuclear Systems for Low-Carbon Energy Production (IRESNE) has three key responsibilities.




The first is supporting the different branches of the nuclear industry: reactors, fuel cycle, waste management, and clean-up & dismantling. For example, our institute is working on solutions to extend the lifetime of nuclear power plants, from the start-up of the European pressurised reactor (EPR) in Flamanville to the deployment of future EPR2 reactors. IRESNE also provides its expertise in the field of naval propulsion reactors.



The second is developing new reactor concepts such as the small modular reactor (SMR), the advanced modular reactor (AMR), or the micro modular reactor (MMR). These different concepts can use either a thermal or fast neutron spectrum with a choice of possible coolants (water, sodium, gas, etc.). A technological breakthrough in research, the molten salt reactor (MSR) is also being investigated. As for other Generation IV reactors, sodium-cooled fast reactors (SFR) are being studied with the objective of closing the fuel cycle, while high temperature reactors (HTR) are being investigated for their capacity to provide high-temperature heat. Combined with these new concepts, the fuel assemblies, fuels and technologies for tomorrow’s nuclear industry are the focus of R&D driven by innovation.


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The last is facilitating the integration of different technologies such as nuclear energy and renewable energies to propose a low-carbon energy mix for France. The institute is exploring energy vectors such as hydrogen or district heating, even possibly in an electricity cogeneration configuration. IRESNE provides its expertise in the nuclear sector to develop a new energy mix so it can further integrate new energy technologies.