Transfer of radio-contaminants in reactors
Tiret rouge


A reference laboratory at the CEA Energy Division (DES).

The LMTE laboratory is tasked with modelling transfers and interactions of radionuclides and chemical pollutants in the various environmental zones (atmosphere, surface and groundwater, subsoil in the case of waste disposal systems), with the main aim of studying the impact of gaseous and/or liquid releases from DES facilities under normal and accident conditions.
LMTE engineers carry out R&D in line with the needs of operational studies, with the aim of developing, adapting and validating calculation methodologies and tools according to the specific features of each site and requirements of the safety authorities such as the ASN. Its experts also support the centre's senior management in assessing the impact of chemical and/or radioactive effluent releases on people and the environment within the scope of emergency preparedness.
On the strength of its expertise in these fields, the LMTE has been appointed the reference unit at the Energy Division for health and environmental impact calculations and hydrogeological studies. It is also in charge of drafting regulatory impact study documents required at various stages of a facility’s service life (safety cases, final shutdown and dismantling files (MAD/DEM), design change requests, etc.). In this context, it is responsible for assessing the radioactivity of nuclear systems, from both a global and specific perspective, with the aim of quantifying and managing operating dose levels, releases and their radiological impact on the environment. The LMTE laboratory's modelling activity covers a wide range of tools used to study different environmental aspects: atmospheric transfers (WRF, FLEXPART); hydrogeological transfers (MARTHE, Modflow, Feflow); transfers in soils and deep geological environments (Hytec, Porflow, Crunchflow, MIN3P); transfers in food chains; estimation of health, dosimetry and environmental impact (CERES, ADMS, MODULERS, ERICA).
To meet the future needs in impact and/or hydrogeological studies of the facilities at the Energy Division, the laboratory is managing the development of calculation tools, databases and methods designed for the specific sites; this requires setting up an in situ characterisation method.
Lastly, it takes part in the development and qualification of coupled chemistry-transport tools used to meet its own needs and those of its partners, for geological and sub-surface disposal applications (studies to design radionuclide containment systems, e.g. packages, cells, disposal sites).

​Activités. © IRESNE/CEA​​


  • Modelling the transfer of radiological and chemical substances in the different environment media,
  • Modelling the chemistry and transport mechanisms in underground disposal systems,
  • Health and environmental impact assessment calculations,
  • Hydrogeological assessments,
  • Meteorological and upper-air assessments,
  • Environmental monitoring on the CEA Cadarache site.
​Equipements majeurs. © IRESNE/CEA

Major equipment

  • Hydrogeological, atmospheric and chemistry-transport calculation codes,
  • Upper-air characterisation systems,
  • Equipment to monitor meteorological and hydrogeological parameters.
​​Chiffres clés. © IRESNE/CEA​​

​Key figures

  • 23 people,
  • 5 staff members,
  • 5 R&D projects.
​​Partenaires. © IRESNE/CEA​​


  • CEA centres,
  • CNRS,​
  • INRA,
  • INERIS,​
  • Universities,
  • EDF,​
  • ANDRA,
  • Orano Mines,​
  • VALE,​
  • China (BRIUG, CIRP),
  • India (IGCAR),​