CEPN’s mission: to contribute to the development of high-quality radiological protection

The CEPN Association was founded in 1976 to evaluate "Human protection in all its technical, health-related, economic and social aspects" in the nuclear domain. This objective responded to the need to open up radiological protection to social sciences and to the emerging disciplines of risk assessement and management.

To fulfil this mission, CEPN has developed a centre for methodological review and for studies on the evaluation and management of radiological risks, including activities based both on a forward-looking approach as well as on expertise anchored in radiological protection practice. The programme of the research group rapidly became structured around two major axes: the application of the optimization principle for radiological protection and the comparison of the different health and environmental risks from the energy chain. At the end of the 1970s, the approach to evaluation and management of radiological risk was marked by the publication of new recommendations by the International Commission for Radiological Protection which introduced the optimization principle (ALARA). This is a practical response to concerns regarding precautions which take into account the uncertainties associated with low doses of ionizing radiation. Furthermore, CEPN has assisted in the development of the evaluation of health and environmental impacts of the nuclear industry, taking part in comparative studies of the risks from different energy industries, carried out on the international scale. Since that time, developments in the methodology and practice of radiological protection systems have given greater consideration to the economic, social and ethical dimensions in the evaluation and management of risk.

These developments have contributed greatly to improvements in the quality and effectiveness of radiological protection, particularly through the practical application of the ALARA approach. More recently, CEPN has developed unique expertise in the social dimensions and methods of management of diverse situations involved in radiological risk (waste, contaminated regions, radon, etc.). This review was undertaken in partnership with other research teams, in particular within European projects which aimed to analyse the new issues confronting our society in terms of risk-related activities and to research ways for better social management of industrial, natural and health-related risk. Hence, for more than three decades, CEPN has developed a large store of methodological, practical and historical knowledge concerning developments and experiences in radiological protection. This store of knowledge allows it to make original contributions to the evaluation and management of radiological risk and to the development of the radiological protection culture in the nuclear, industrial and medical fields.

CEPN structure

The membres of CEPN

CEPN organisation

A Board composed of 7 members manages the CEPN. A multi-disciplinary Research Group performs the research and studies under the responsibility of a Director. A Scientific Council composed of radiation protection experts from French and European institutions and bodies evaluates the Research Scientific Program.

The resources of CEPN

The total amount of CEPN’s annual resources is about € 2 million. This amount comes from its own funds (33%) and contracts made with the nuclear industry, technical support organizations, authorities, expertise and control organizations, ministries and international organizations (67%).

CEPN values

PRECAUTION 
A precautionary approach regarding risks related to low doses of ionizing radiation.

SCIENTIFIC RIGOUR 
Implementation of a strong scientific rigour regarding research and expertise notably through the publication of its research results and the evaluation of its activities by a Scientific Council.

TRANSPARENCY Transparency of its activities through the publication of its work.

AUTONOMY
Independence of the orientation of its research program and the development of its projects.

OPENNESS TO SOCIETY
The development of its work in relation with stakeholders.

CEPN assets

MULTI DISCIPLINARITY OF THE TEAM 
CEPN’s staff is made of engineers and economists. Such diversity allows the organization to rely on a wide range of skills and competences. Thus, the CEPN is capable of adopting an approach that takes a multiplicity of issues under consideration (technical, sanitarian, environmental, social, economic) in the implementation of radiation protection.

A REACTIVE ORGANIZATION 
CEPN’s small sized structure allows it to be highly flexible, fully project-oriented, and able to rely on strong and fast capacity of mobilization to efficiently deal with the tasks proper to its mission.

A DIRECT INVOLVEMENT IN PRACTICAL RADIOLOGICAL PROTECTION 
Thanks to three decades of privileged relations with its members, the CEPN is directly involved in the field in the practical application of radiation protection in nuclear, industrial and medical facilities. Such participation allows the research team to make use of a strong knowledge of radiation protection and feed-back experience in this field, both on national and international level. Furthermore, the CEPN is able to share its experience with the various actors of radiation protection: authorities, experts, operators, workers, civil society, and so on.

NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION 
The credit granted to the organization for its contributions to radiation protection allows it to be considered an expert of the matter. Several CEPN members are involved in work groups managed by national and international radiation protection organizations.

Past CEPN contributions

Main study and research topics developped by the CEPN from 1976 to 2015 are :

  • The scientific basis of the evaluation and management of radiological risk
  • The implementation of the principle of optimisation of radiological protection at the design, operation and dismantling stages of nuclear facilities
  • The evaluation of the health and environmental impacts and associated external costs of the nuclear fuel cycle
  • The radiological protection of the population living in contaminated territories after a nuclear accident
  • The procedures to involve stakeholders in radiological protection
  • The economic and social stakes related to the management of radioactive waste
  • The management of radon exposures
  • The transmission of radiological protection culture

historical CEPN

The decision to create the CEPN was taken under the leadership of Dr. Henri Jammet, then Director of the Department of Protection of the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), Georges Morlat, renowned statistician, then adviser to the Directorate General of Electricity of France (EDF), and Francis Fagnani, health economist, then Director of research at INSERM.

The constitutive General Assembly was held on October 22, 1976 and the announcement of the creation of the Association published officially on December 11 of that year. EDF and the CEA are both founding members of CEPN.

The first President of CEPN was Professor Maurice Tubiana and the first Director of the Research Group was Francis Fagnani.

In July 1979, the INSERM research group on risk assessment and preventive actions (FRA 50) is attached to CEPN. The group will become a few years later a full Research Unit (U-240) and continue with CEPN until 1989.

The Scientific Council of CEPN is established in 1985, succeeding to a Scientific Committee installed in 1976 and chaired by Georges Morlat from 1977 to 1985.

In March 1989, Jacques Lochard, economist, who joined CEPN in 1977, is appointed Director of the Research Group to succeed Francis Fagnani called by INSERM to other functions.

The Association currently has four members with the accession of COGEMA in 1993, which became AREVA in 2001, and the Institute of Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) in 2002 at the time of its creation.

Successive Presidents of the Association:

  • Maurice Tubiana
  • Henri Jammet
  • Pierre Tanguy
  • Jacques Lafuma
  • Annie Sugier
  • Jérôme Pelissier Tanon
  • Bernard Tinturier
  • Jean-Pierre Laurent
  • Daniel Quéniart
  • Dominique Minière
  • Hervé Bernard
  • Philippe Sasseigne
  • Bertrand de L’Epinois
  • Bernard Le Guen

Successive President of the Scientific Council:

  • Henri Jammet
  • Pierre Galle
  • Henri Loubergé
  • Serge Prêtre
  • Annie Sugier
  • Augustin Janssens